tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 14, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EDT
>> are you worried that the democratic party is turning away from the education reform agenda? >> i'm not worried about that. there's elements of the party that have been opposed to charter schools and other elements of reform as well for a long period of time. and they didn't go anywhere. we had an historic leader in barack obama who stood up against some of those interests and produced risk change for kids. but simply because we had this hero in the president doesn't mean that these other elements went away. and so those elements remain. and we have to continue to work with those members of the party where we can, to the extent we think they're going to stand in the way of what's right for our children and our country, we'll have to push against that. >> another issue that i would say a year ago we thought was probably going to be a factor in the election, and maybe a little more than it's been, is the issue of common core state standards. andy, from your perspective, you
know, we saw at the beginning, before the primaries, there was a lot of talk about, oh, this is going to be a major issue in the primaries, we have some candidates who are at least jeb bush particularly was very pro-common-core and others started running away from it after having supported it. what do you think? how has it played in the election so far? and do you think it's going to come up again, you know, in the home stretch? >> i don't know. you're right, there was a long period of time where common core was a nonissue. and then a period of time where it was the hottest education issue. there are many states, i don't know if it's most, but many states have now become acclimated to the idea of new higher standards. and the debate about how common core came about, which i think is a totally legitimate discussion, should the federal government have had a role, should major foundations have had a role, does it make sense
for common standards across states, those are questions we should be debating. putting those aside, many educators including in my state will say at this point, we're now in the business of making sure these standards work. please don't change ow tesur te you need to give us a chance to do what's right for kids. i don't know if this speaks for all states or all regions or if it's going to go on, but it seems like the temperature has been turned down on the politics of common core and now it's much more about implementation, i think. >> right. do you all have anything you want to mention about common core? >> that is a very good characterization. i remember when they were putting it together, and folks came to the nea, and i, like everyone else, all the teachers i know rolled our eyes and said, oh, great, the next shiny thing. but i read the sixth grade common core standards in language arts, because i taught sixth grade.
it was like, give your opinion, give the evidence for your opinion, explain. i went, yes, now you're talking. now common core said, oh, you can't put that on a standardized test, so we won't do that. it was the implementation, not the standards themselves. >> and the assessments. >> well, and using the assessments for something that were never designed to be used for, telling a parent that this is all you need to know about your kid is this standardized test. >> or to evaluate teachers. >> exactly. or to label your school. no single standardized test was ever designed to do that. so you use the test data poorly, and of course you're going to get pushback. >> we have to be very careful, because in the republican party's platform, to eliminate federal education, that would mean we would be in a situation in which 50 states would have to come to their own set of standards at a time when our young people have to compete on the global stage. we think that 50 different
states working to figure it out on their own individually are going to create a situation in which our young people can't compete with china and compete with young people out of india and all throughout this planet, they're smoking something. so we have to have a national floor. then obviously states ought to have the capacity to innovate on top of that floor. but if we're going to prepare our country for the demands of the 21st century economy, we have to have a baseline that every young person has to meet. >> that includes assessing those standards. >> we don't believe that any one test tells you everything about anything. i'm a trained attorney. you've got to pass the bar. that doesn't mean that tells you everything about what it means to be an attorney. that means we want to measure some foundational skills and competencies to know you're ready. kids have been tested forever, right? teachers would come with their own tests, pop quizzes and that sorts of things. now we're using assessments to
say things not only about the babies but about the adults. when we say, maybe some of the adults can do more too, now all of a sudden we seem to have a challenge with the assessments. >> i brought up exactly the next issue i wanted to discuss. andy, go ahead. i just want to talk about teacher evaluation and where we stand now going into this new are an era. >> thank you, i'm excited to talk about that. this is an issue where i don't know how mr. trump comes down on this, but i think it is important. if the question is how do we make sure as many of our students including disadvantaged low income kids who have been assigned to low performing schools for way too long, how do we make sure we set up a system so as many of them succeed in the future as possible? there is one mindset that says we need the technocratic solution, a single right answer from the federal government that uses the biggest brains around that we know what the answer is,
and we're going to say it from the federal government, and then we're going to tell states to do it and we'll tell districts to do it and districts will tell their teachers to do it and everything will work out wonderfully. there is a different mindset that i and i think many people on the right have, which is pluralism. it is laboratories of democracy. it is america is different and that is our great strength and that lots of communities and lots of states trying to figure out this out, working together when necessary, working apart when necessary, they're going to come up with great solutions. those solutions may be different in alabama or alaska or maryland. but that is fine. that is actually what makes america great. i think a lot of pushback we've seen over the last decade or 15 years on the right to the federal government's activities is that the federal government has told us that we know best on standards. we know best on tests. we know best on teacher evaluation. a lot of teachers and school and state leaders are saying, no, you don't. >> so at this time i do want to
ask folks in the audience here if you have any questions, we will have someone coming around with a mike. i would like you to introduce yourself and try to make it a question. i mean, we're interested in your thoughts, but i think better to sort of try to make it a pretty brief question. i also would invite folks participating in the webcast to enter questions in the webcast platform and we'll try to get to as many as we can. does anyone have a question for our speakers? >> thank you, carolyn, thank you to the panel. i'm robert mahaffey, i'm the executive director of the rural school and community trust. we focus on the 12 million children that are in our rural and remote schools. we agree that we've heard very little about policies that either camp is putting forward in any detail.
but we hear nothing about what's happening in rural schools in districts and communities where you have a very different context. your comments and observations about why it's so important to focus on these children as well. >> so rural education. lily? >> i taught in utah where it has -- you know, salt lake city is the big city. and out of 40 counties, 38 of them are quite rural communities. for a lot of those folks, it's why charter schools and vouchers will never take off, they're not practical to come up with those kind of innovative schools, when you have so few children. so for us, we've always concentrated on the system. we've always said what is it, first of all, that we're trying to accomplish. and it's more than a test score. it's actually having kids be critical, creative, collaborative thinkers.
i've actually been to some of our utah schools that are k-12 schools in the same building with maybe 2 or 300 kids. where one teacher has to be an expert on teaching four or five subjects. so as that federal mandate came down on things that sound so beautiful, like highly qualified teacher, and all of a sudden you couldn't offer a class at all because someone didn't fit in a particular box, it's a problem. >> teacher recruitment is difficult challenge in rural areas. anyone else want to talk about the challenges particularly? and the role of the federal government. >> i think that's where the standards and accountability comes in, and the disaggregation by economic class and various other subgroups so we can make sure every young person, whether in a rural community, urban community, suburban community, can meet the standards they need to be college and career ready, and we have accountability for that. if those young people aren't meeting those standards, we have
to intervene in such a way and provide the resources and support so our schools can take our kids to the next level. >> just briefly, that i admit to being part of the problem. i think for too long federal policy gave too little consideration to the differences of rural schools and how a lot of federal policies were affect thing affecting them. most people don't know often they graduate at higher rates from high school but graduate from college at lower rates. so there are questions about what is being taught, what are teachers doing. if you look at the a map, and i think brookings has done some of this, of where there is the least amount of economic mobility in the nation, if you were born in the lowest or highest quintile, what are your chances as a grownup of being wealthy, in the upper half?
the places were poverty is in the stickiest in america is actually in rural communities, native american communities, and the deep south. i think we've done too little as policymakers to think about how, long term, schools can get more help on this. >> i'll turn to my colleague eric robelynn. >> the question is predicting who might be named education secretary under either a president clinton or president trump. >> we've heard a lot of names. anybody want to put some names to go out there with the rumors? or maybe you have more than rumors, maybe you have solid information, inside information. >> i would prefer the person who makes that decision to be hillary clinton. and i think everybody thinks of someone. for us, we're looking for someone who actually knows what it's like to be in that classroom and not a think tank,
not someone who sits in an ivory tower. >> you said classroom, now. of course the department of education also overseas -- think about all the student loan apparatus and higher education as well as k-12. >> but again -- >> it's not just classrooms. >> and that truly understands the civil rights role of the federal government. it's not to be the super super insuperintendent of the country. congress was not designed to be a school board. but the role of the federal government is to provide the civil right to have that pursuit of happiness. >> you didn't name anybody. are you going to name anybody? >> no, i will agree with my colleague in the sense that we're working very hard to make sure it's secretary clinton making that decision.
experience, with the full range. so higher ed, pre-k, student loans, we think it's important for someone to have experience in this work. >> so you're concerned about any particular interest group getting too big a say when you want to make sure secretary clinton makes that decision? >> that's correct. the interest group that ought to drive what ought to come out of the department of ed should be children. it shouldn't be any other interest groups that's focused on the priorities of adults. the whole point of that office is also, as my colleague said too, to ensure that's equity, whether rural communities, urban communities, suburban communities. the interests of children has to be at the heart of anything the department does. >> i don't have any inside intel on this by any means. as a matter of fact i think it will tell us a whole lot about mr. trump and what he's prioritizing should a list of names start to get leaked. if i had to guess, again based on just my whim here, i think the next secretary of education
will be a governor or former governor. i think we're in this era where not only has the federal government given a lot of authority back to states under esa, but there are issues like trying to balance the needs of rural communities with the very different needs, often, of suburban or urban communities, of how you balance school choice and democratic control. the folks who are often best equipped to deal with this are the ones who have been going through this tough process in their states, like maryland, for example, a relatively small state. it has urban communities from baltimore to the i-95 corridor. western maryland, which is very rural, including the shore, governors are the ones dealing with this issue. that might be the next step. >> thank you. other questions in the room? >> i'm jamie horowitz, the chair of the press club, glad to have you. >> i guess the mike isn't working, i'm so sorry.
turn it on. here's another -- >> is that any better? okay. again, my name is jamie horwitz, i'm the chair of the news maker committee here at the press club. >> and thank you so much. >> my question really relates to the fact that, you know, it seems like this political cycle, we've seen people in both parties really turned off by government. you have a situation where you have one candidate that's saying the system is rigged. there's language used in presidential debates that would get you kicked out of high school in a high school debate. i have three teenaged kids. i find that a lot of my friends, a lot of my kids' peers are turned off by this political campaign. do you think that one of the legacies of this election cycle
will be people asking questions about civic education and how we reengage students in the political process that maybe democracy has been a little bit shaken here, and that people will be turning to the schools for answers? >> well, i imagine you have thoughts on that, lily. >> i'm so glad you put that into the room, really, because we've had a disturbing nu ining numbee calls from many of our members. if you read the "post" lately, it's not just schools. it's entire communities. a grandmother who was threatened by anonymous hate mail from her neighbors because she has mixed race grandchildren living with her and they're not to be in our neighborhood. what we're hearing on the school level, an increase in bullying, an increase in kids feeling unsafe. and donald trump's name gets wrapped into it. when trump becomes president, he's sending you back to mexico.
religion, race. and this feeling that it's okay to say these things that often have a violent context to it. so this is so much more than just civic education. that absolutely, for me, is one of the key enterprises of public education. it was what it was designed to be, to bring diverse communities together to be this democratic institution. but now we're dealing with kids who, as you said, are hearing things that are so disturbing that it's either frightening them or it's animating them to actually act, i'm on donald trump's side and we're going to hurt you. >> i don't think presidential campaigns have ever been, you know, kind of tea parties, no
pun intended. people haven't worn kid gloves with one another. andy, what do you think? is this something different that we're seeing, or is this sort of a typical kind of, you know, tough talk that we've always heard during the heat of an electoral battle? >> this seems very unusual to me, and painfully unusual. i have a 6-year-old little boy and 4-year-old twins. and i'm mindful of the country they're growing up in and the tenor of the political debate. i try to be humble enough to realize there are people in this country who are hurting, and they're hurting badly. and politics reflects the zeitgeist, like the times. people are hurting, while at the same time we need our public
officials, our public servants to reflect the best of us, not the worst. and i think civics education has a good bit to do with this. we need to teach our kids a whole lot better what it means to be in the public square, what it is to respect in a pluralistic society that there are differences and legitimate differences. what i've seen, the language that i've heard, in my professional career i have not seen this. >> as a lawyer, a professional where you really watch the words you use, what do you think about whether this is going to lead to kind of more focus on civics education? >> i would hope so. i think the media and the national press club can help. we don't hear stories of plane landings, but plane crashes. i think too much of the media discourse is the most extreme elements on the -- in a dichotamous way on a particular question. we have one side saying
government can never do anything right and everybody is corrupt. we need to tell the stories, whether it's teachers, firefighters, who go to work every day and do good things for the people. that will hepbulp burnish respe. >> so educators and the media has a role in furthering the tone of civil public discourse. >> i believe so. >> any other questions from online? >> a question about the role of the federal government in educational technology, whether that would change under the new administration. i believe that the clinton campaign has some dimension to its platform on that. >> computer science education, among others, the innovation plank of the platform. >> what i love about hillary clinton's ideas is you really can go up on her website and find all kinds of details.
you can't do that with her opponent. but one of the things that she has committed to i think in every aspect of education is she has talked about access and opportunity. and when you take a look at how our schools are funded and the way they are not funded equitably so that children in the most challenging situations that have so little in their home lives, in their community lives, if they don't get in that public school, they won't have it. that technological divide absolutely exists and that speaks well of her plan. >> i thought we might bring up the issue of beyond the presidential election, if there are races -- certainly we have the congressional races, and there's a lot of talk about whether the senate might
actually go flip to the democrats. i don't know what kind of -- what you guys think as far as what the odds are on that and whether you think there would be much of an effect on education policy if that happens. anything to say about the senate? >> i would say something about the governors' races. >> fair enough. >> i think you're right, there are downballot raisces, people e trembling with what the unintended or intended consequences are of the downballot races. we've talked about congress not being the super school board. but there is a role in that state and local race. i like the dynamics in montana, where you have a governor, a democratic governor who has really invested in public schools and really taken a look at strengthening public schools and is doing very well in an otherwise red state. then you look at north carolina
where they have not done that, where they've done the opposite, with huge tax cuts, with corporations not paying their fair share, and not investing in their public schools. and he's very vulnerable to his democratic challenger who is talking about public school funding. so i think we've got a story to be told there. >> how about you, andy, races you're watching downballot? >> i would definitely agree with lily on this question. in many places, governors are appointing state board members, and they're choosing superintendents or superintendents are being elected. this isn't always the most dramatic kind of election. but in this era, it could be arguably the most important when it comes to education. the federal government has loosened the reigns on testing issues, on state accountability issues. states are wondering what to do
about rural education issues. who is going to making these calls? it's going to be state legislatures. i'm interested in the massachusetts charter ballot race, which is huge. on these more subtle questions, state policymakers will be driving the train over the next call it five years. who is sitting in even of those seats is very important. >> are you following the charter issue, the ballot measure in massachusetts? if so, explain a little bit what's at stake there. >> yes. we're involved in that. so we're following that. we're actively involved in that. that's just an effort to lift the number of charter schools in that state. unfortunately -- >> the cap on the number? >> the cap on the number of charters. unfortunately, in a number of states there's artificial barriers on the growth the public charter schools. that means we have a mini jurisdiction were families are clamoring for these opportunities. and if they were given the
democratic right to make a choice, their children would be in these schools. there are artificial caps that frankly vindicate political interests versus the interests of children. we're fight to go raise the cap, which simple says parents make the choice. that doesn't mean you have to send your child to a charter. that means that the decisionmaker is a parent or a care caregiver, not a politician. we support parents and families making these decisions. that's why we're actively involved in that fight in massachusetts. >> are there other questions from the audience? >> hi, my name is claire caulfield, i'm with arizona news pbs. there's a huge debate there about the education scholarship accounts. where do you see the future of these accounts going and do you predict them expanding more to chi children with disabilities? >> andy? >> esas are in some senses
vouchers times two or times three. this caught me unprepared. i didn't expect their growth to take off the way that it has. so in the southwest, it's happening. there are other states like tennessee that are considering this, essentially, and it depends which students are where i believe for it. it is a family gets to access their students' share of state funds and use that money for a private school, for tutoring, some other kind of extracurricular activity. it's empowering other kinds of education. this is important because it expands the idea of vouchers beyond low income kids or kids who are assigned to persist ended enterally underpersistently underperforming schools. this goes to my very first
question that i raised. we're in an era of trying to decide who needs authority. is it the federal government, is it state policymakers, district policymakers? esas answer this question by saying families need to be making these choices. >> the families that are left in the system that really choose that public system, they want that public system. by having all of these ways, no matter how nicely you package them, you are taking resources from the system. to have a student, a handful of students leave the system with the money, you still have to pay the light bill, you still have to pay to heat the building, you have costs that don't leave with that student. when you talk about things like in massachusetts, there are caps. arizona is one of the examples that doesn't have caps, and it has a huge number of fraud, mismanagement, poorly run
charter schools, charter schools that open and lock their doors on students. those are also the stories that need to be told. because when the caps actually help manage, how are you going to oversee, how are you going to hold them accountable if you cannot control how many you have to oversee. and so i think arizona is an example of where there are huge problems. and it's hurting the students in the public system. >> this is an example of school choice. and we have heard donald trump talking about school choice. we heard -- we certainly have parts of the democratic platform talking about charter schools in sort of a more critical way than we've certainly seen, i would say, from the obama administration. i would be really interested in your view of sort of charter -- or excuse me, voucher-like education savings accounts,
where families can make decisions about where the funding for their child's education from the state is going. what do you think about that? >> we focus on expanding choice through the public framework. so we don't do work in nevada, so i'm not familiar with that program. but our focus is on expanding parent options through the public framework or public charter schools. on the idea that the caps are connected to managing performance, that i think frankly is just unwarranted. for every one school that a regulator may have to oversee that's a charter, you have many hundreds that are district schools. we've had district schools where only one in ten children can read on grade level for decades but we don't close those schools or otherwise intervene. yet if you have some underperforming charititers, pee want to put on caps. if a charter school isn't
working, enforce it. regulators' rjob is to enforce the law. that can be done very easily as opposed to blanket caps that are denying families options. >> we're getting toward the end of our time. do we have a question from our online audience? >> can you discuss the implications of the senate, where it appears the balance could flip from republican to democratic control, what implications does that have potentially on an education agenda? and also in general, to what extent will this next congress serve as a reality check on a new president? >> we talked about -- i mentioned that issue, and you all talked about the gubernatorial races. >> i fear if the senate were to remain in republican hands, you may have significant pressure to either allow waivers or just
simply very lax enforcement at the federal level of some of the baseline commitments in esa. >> being the every student succeeds act. >> yes. whether it's the testing requirement, whether it's the multivariable assessments of whether schools are performing that have the heavy focus on achievement, whether it's the mandatory obligation to intervene in persistently underperforming schools. there will be significant pressure pursuant to this heavy federalism impulse that republicans have to let the states take the money and do whatever they want to do with it, which will hurt urban and rural kids as well. >> this is arguably the most interesting dc education story at the moment, which is senator lamar alexander, chair of the senate education committee, who is pushing hard his interpretation of esa, that it was slapping the hands of the fe federal government, saying back up, we want to give the state
governments more power now. he is often at odds with secretary king and the obama administration over the regulatory process. can the federal government dictate more than senator alexander and republicans are saying probably the federal government ought to do. if the senate were to flip, this is actually a really important issue. if senator alexander is no longer the committee chair and for example bernie sanders could be the next chair of that committee, we could see the implementation of esa look a whole lot more like ncob than what a lot of republicans in congress were hoping this next version of the act would look like. >> are you worried, do you think the senate is going to flip? >> i think it's a flip of a coin right now, which way it goes. i do think this is probably the most important k-12 ripple of whether or not hillary clinton or donald trump is the president. how are they going to have their u.s. department of education interpret esa and how much flexibility do governors and
state boards and districts have. >> and this is that, and this is so much bigger thatten th ethan. we now have a danger us precedent with the current senate republican leadership saying we're not going to hold a hearing on a supreme court nominee that was duly nominated by a sitting president a year before he was going to go out of office. i don't care if it was five days before he went out of office. they've just said, nah, we don't like it, we're not going to do it. what would make them say anything different to a president hillary clinton? they've already set this precedent that says, and you can't make me. >> you're seeing the supreme court as a major -- >> the supreme court, even cabinet members. they could throw our country into chaos. remember when we used to have nine supreme court justice? good times, yeah. >> so any other questions that
we have from the audience? i think we have one right here. we only have about two more minutes. so quick question and very quick answers, thanks. >> i guess it's kind of a question for lily. i'm jason russell from "the washington examiner." i think it's interesting that hillary clinton voted for no child left behind but it doesn't come up often. does she get a free pass? >> there's no free passes, no, i'm a teacher, i do a report card. and that was a big question. one of the public education hear rows, ted kennedy, was the mover and shaker on the democratic side, this was great bipartisan fanfare, and it was a mistake, it was wrong. i want to know if people learn from their mistakes. hillary clinton asked the right questio questions, what are we going to do better next time.
>> is that the right lesson to take? >> there was some excess in nclb. they said we're going to hold schools accountable by looking at subgroups. for anyone that says they care about equity in young people to just kind of throw nclb out wholesale is frankly a contradiction. it was the kind of one of the most aggressive efforts to say, we're going to look at every child. if you're a poor white family in appe appalachia, we're going to look at you. >> this is the federal government's big test on k-12. is there a way you can ensure equity, make sure as many students, especially disadvantaged kids, are well-served without the federal government dictating all kinds of educational policies that
teachers get upset, parents get upset by, district and state leaders get upset by. esa is said to be a better version of this. to be determined. >> andy, you get the last word then. i hope you'll join me in thanking our speakers, i think they did a fantastic job, so thank you very much. [ applause ] and we have a short break. we're going to be coming back at the top of the hour to talk about higher education, what's at stake for post secondary education in the election. [ room noise ] the heads of the army, navy, marine corps, and air force
testify tomorrow morning about the armed services' budget needs. live coverage of the senate armed services committee hearing at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. this weekend on "american history tv" on c-span3, saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> in any war, in any time, weapons dictate tactics. you've probably heard that the civil war was fought with modern weapons and antiquated tactics. and that's not quite true. the civil war is actually an evolutionary war, as both weapons and the men who employ those weapons learn different methods to fight with. >> author david powell talks about military theories, battle tactics, and formations during the civil war.
then at 9:00, a military historian talks about his book, "potsdam," but the 1945 meeting of harry truman, winston churchill, and joseph stalin to talk about the he found world war ii. >> power in europe became a zero sum game. the way to solve the problem under this viewpoint was to merge europe together, create a european union, and the phrase is already out there, so that france, germany, russia, poland, don't see events on the continent as a zero sum game. on sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the idea that presidents got the best health care available in whatever era they lived, i want to tell you this is a charming myth. problems began almost immediately with george washington. >> richard levinson on myths
surrounding presidents in their health. he'll talk about how doctors have sometimes contributed to a president's death or saved them from dying without public knowledge. for our complete "american history tv" schedule, go to c-span.org. president obama met myanmar's aung san suu kyi in the oval office today. the president told the former political prisoner and nobel peace prize lawyer yet that the u.s. is ready to lift economic sanctions against her country. >> it is an extraordinary pleasure for me to welcome state counselor aung san suu kyi and her delegation to the white house. this is not her first visit to the oval office. but it is her first visit in her official capacity. and it represents a remarkable
process that burma is undergoing. when i was first elected, da suu was still under house arrest, because, in part, of advocacy by the united states and others in the international community, but more importantly because of the courage and the strength and resilience of the burmese people, what we've seen over the last several years is a transition to elections, a representative legislature that still has significant constraints from the previous military government, but is giving voice to the hopes and dreams of a new generation of burmese people.
and as a consequence, now, aung san suu kyi as state counselor and foreign minister is in a position with her government to begin shaping a remarkable social and political transformation and economic transformation there. in part because of the progress that we've seen over the last several months. i indicated after consulting with da suu that the united states is now prepared to lift sanctions that we have imposed on burma for quite some time. it is the right thing to do in order to ensure that the people of burma see rewards from a new way of doing business and a new government. at the same time, we're also
going to be restoring the generalized system of preferences which provides very important commercial and trading advantageous for poor countries as they enter into the global economy. and if you combine those two efforts, i think this will give the united states, our businesses, our nonprofit institutions, greater incentive to invest and participate in what we hope will be an increasingly democratic and prosperous partner for us in the region. in addition to the political transition that's taken place, the economic reforms that are being initiated, da suu has helped to convene a peace conference so the various ethnic
groups and armed conflicts that have plagued this country for far too long can begin to be resolved. there is a process of beginning to reach out and address some of the ethnic minorities that historically feel discrimination. and so there is a broader process of transformation, reconciliation, and hope that has emerged in a country that for decades was burdened by a military dictatorship and closed off from the world. i can tell you when i visited as the first u.s. president ever to travel there, i could see the enormous potential that was about to be unleashed. and nobody represented that
better than aung san suu kyi. so we are very hopeful about the future. we are hopeful about building on the friendship and partnership that we've already established, not just with your government but with the burmese people. i would encourage americans who have the opportunity at some point to travel to burma, storms so. it is a beautiful country with a rich culture, wonderful people. and i think, if i'm not mistaken, there is a very welcome tourist industry that is developing. so we look forward to partnering with you, madam state counselor, on a whole range of issues. congratulations on the progress
that has been made. it is not complete, and i believe da suu would be the first to say that. but it is on the right track. if you had predicted five years ago that aung san suu kyi would now be here sitting as the duly elected representative of her country, many people would have been skeptical. but it's a good news story in an era in which so often we see countries going in the opposite direction. thank you. >> i need hardly say that i'm very happy to be here, because this is an opportunity for me to thank all of the people of the united states who have helped us along our democratic struggle. it's not yet at an end. we have reached a point where, as president obama said, people did not expect us to reach five years ago, although we were
quite confident that we would get there. but now we have to go ahead, there is so much to be done in our country. my father always said the most important thing was national reconciliation and peace. he ever since we have been an independent nation, we have never known a time when there was peace throughout the country. there was always fighting going on someplace or another. there are officially 135 ethnic groups in our country. and to keep them all united and keep them all to one purpose is not an easy matter. but we think that we can do that. we think that we can do that because what all of us want is a truly democratic federal union, a union in which we can create true strength out of diversity, in which we can celebrate our diversity as a greater richness.
we are trying to do that now. and we are grateful to all our friend, of course the united states more than included, who will be helping us in this process. but unity also needs prosperity, because people, when they have to fight over limited resources, forget that standing together is important. so we want to develop resources. we want to make sure that our people are better off materially in order to strengthen our political initiatives. it's not just the peace process. it's also our effort, headed by dr. could hakofi annan. strife is something we cannot ignore. it's too important and serious to leave until even the next
year. so this is one of the first initiatives we have taken, to look into communal strife and tensions within the state. we want everybody who is a citizen of our country to be entitled to the full rights of citizens. and we want to make sure that everybody who is entitled to citizenship is accorded citizenship as quickly and as fairly as possible. and this is what we are trying to do. and we hope that the world will recognize that we are sincere in trying to bring together the different communities in what is a very poor state with tremendous potential, if we could all come together to help them to develop this potential and to eliminate the poverty that so destroys the unity. i think it will be helping not just one country but the world at large, by proving that divisions can be overcome, that
we can create unity out of diversity, that we can put aside suspicion and misunderstandings and come to an agreement that we can all progress together. the united states congress has been more than friendly towards our efforts toward democratic reform. over the years they have done many things for us. as e you all know, sanctions ha been one of the many steps they took in order to push democratic reforms in our country. we've seen that the time has now come to remove all the sanctions that hurt us economically, because our country is in a position to open up to those who are interested in taking part in our economic enterprises. we would like to invite all of you to come to see our country, to see why you should invest there, and see how you can
invest there in such a way that you will benefit from it as much as we can. i've always said that i have no use for businessmen who are incapable of making i expect yo come to a country to make profits so they can make profits for us as well. if you can't look after yourself, you certainly can't look after other people. so we are very interested in successful companies, successful business enterprises coming to burma, to looking around and to making new use of the opportunities offered to them. our new investment law will be adopted by the legislature quite soon, we hope within the next few weeks and with the lifting of sanctions and new investment law which i hope will be attractive to many people around the world. we think our country is in a position ta take off. for us, economic development is just part of the democratic
process that you want to encourage in our country. there is still a lot to be done. we have a constitution which is not entirely democratic because it gives the military a special place in politics. we are very -- i am personally very attached to our military because the army was founded by my father. and i want our military to be an honorable institution, loved and respected by the people and capable of protecting and defending our rights and our honor in this world. but we do not think that politics is a place for the military. so we will continue with our efforts to amend our constitution, to make our country the truly democratic union that our founding fathers dreamt of. and we look to the united states and our friends to continue with us along the road of progress. progress politically, progress
socially and economically. and we look forward to the day when we can say that we, too, are in a position to help those less fortunate than we are in this world. and i would like to take this opportunity to thank not just the people of the united states and the united states congress and all the various nongovernmental organizations and individuals that have helped us but also to president obama personally for coming up to our country as the first american president ever to have done so and to recognize the potential of our people, especially our young people. thank you. >> thank you. thank you, everybody. >> what's your timetable? >> soon. soon. >> good to see you. thank you. thank you.
c-span, created by america's cable television companies and brought to you as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. the house is set to take up a resolution calling for the impeachment of irs commissioner john koskinen. the white house is weighing in saying the bill shows misplaced priorities. we spoke to a capitol hill reporter for more details. mike debonis covers congress for "the washington post." here to talk about the irs commission ir impeachment resolution set for floor debate. who and what are behind this effort, mike debonis? >> sure, the resolution that is coming up was filed by two house republicans. john fleming and tim hughescamp, members of the freedom house caucus. they have been frustrated by
the -- not only the allegations against the internal revenue service but by the failure of the -- what they allege, the failure of the current commissioner to comply with congressional subpoenas, provide testimony to congressional committees and otherwise restore trust in the agency. and they have also been frustrated by the fact that the chairman of the relevant committees, particularly judiciary committee chairman bob goodlatt hasn't moved forward with a formal impeachment proceeding. they've filed this privileged resolution that short circuits that process and brings it directly to the floor. >> one of your current articles on "washington post".com has the headline impeachment showdown begins as house conservatives take aim at irs commissioner. is it possible this is a showdown not only with the administration but with house republican leadership? >> that's absolutely the case. i don't think this is a fight that speaker ryan or other
members of the house republican leadership are particularly relishing at this point. i think that certainly there are conservatives who are very upset with the irs and not only the way that they handled their scrutiny of conservative political groups but also the way that they handled congressional inquiries into it. but i think that there is somewhat widespread -- i would say skepticism over whether impeachment is the right remedy to what's gone on. no one has been particularly vocal about saying that this is a bad idea, but you have heard speaker ryan, the majority leader kevin mccarthy both say theywanted this process to regular order, which is code word for saying the relevant committee should take action rather than short-scircuiting
that process and taking it to the floor. >> they're getting together for a special meeting. what do you expect to happen? >> a classic house republican family conversation as they like to put it. they get together behind closed doors and mr. fleming and mr. hugheskamp are going to be able to make their case for doing this. and i would expect that, you know, we would hear from probably chairman goodlatte, probably from other folks, speaker ryan is expected to be in the room. and they are going to sort of make their cases to -- in terms of what is the best way forward on this. and we'll see later in the day how exactly that shakes out. >> the irs commissioner john koskinen has made a couple of visits to capitol hill meeting with members. what has he been saying in his defense? >> he has actually gone and spoken to some of his most
pointed critics. he went into the republican study committee meeting. and basically his message has been this. even if you think i've done terrible things and deserve to lose my job, you should follow the usual impeachment process, and you should not be engaging in the short-circuiting of the process. you should, you know, the judiciary committee should have full-on impeachment hearings. i should be given an opportunity to formally present a defense. i should be granted due process, and then it should be up to the judiciary committee to vote articles of impeachment and send them to the floor and if the house sees fit, send those to the senate for a trial. that's not the process we're in right now. >> is the only option here an impeachment for john koskinen? are there other methods of discipline that congress can mete out? >> y there's been some
discussion of a censure. in fact, the oversight and government reform committee passed a censure resolution through the committee earlier this week. it has not gone to the floor. that is an option if that's what leadership feels that the conference is coalescing behind. but there are other options as well. i mean, to discuss the vote we're going to have tomorrow, you know, there are a number of ways that could be, you know, disposed of short of voting it down or voting it up. you know, it could be perhaps even likely will be a motion to send it back to the judiciary committee. in other words, say, hey, we are going to follow the regular process here. and the committee determines that impeachment is warranted, we'll continue. there could also be a motion to table, which would basically kill this effort entirely. >> this impeachment issue,
another ingredient in that bubbling issue of issues to get done before september 30th, what can you tell us in terms of an update on where we are on some sort of government funding measure to take us past september 30th. >> not a lot seems to have changed ut wardly in the last 24 hours or so. harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate told reporters there were still multiple issues to be resolved. one of the, shall we say, the hairiest issues is whether funds in the zika package are going to go to an affiliate of planned parenthood in puerto rico. apparently there is no resolution there, but if past is prologue, a quick resolution if, at least in the senate, if these negotiators find some common ground. the senate tomorrow is going to clear the water resources
development bill, and leader mcconnell has made every indication he wants to go quickly to the cr, the funding package after that. >> mike debonis covering congress for "the washington post." read his reporting at washingtonpost.com. on twitter @mikedebonis. the heads of the army, navy, marine corps and air force testify tomorrow morning about the armed services long-term budget needs. the hearing taking place as negotiations continue on capitol hill over military readiness under budget caps. live coverage of the senate armed services committee hearing at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. this weekend on "american history tv," on c-span3 -- saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. eastern -- >> in any war, in any time, weapons dictate tactics. you've probably heard that the civil war was fought with modern
weapons and antiquated tactics. that's not quite true. the civil war is actually an evolutionary war as both weapons and the men who employ those weapons learn different methods to fight with. >> author david powell talks about military theories, battle tactics and formations during the civil war. at 9:00, military historian michael neiberg talks about his book "potsdam" about the 1945 meeting of truman, churchill and stalin to negotiate the end of world war ii and the reconstruction of europe. >> the states of europe didn't interact enough. they weren't cooperative enough. the power in europe became a zero sum game. the problem was to merge europe together, create a european union and the phrase is already out there. so that france, germany, russia, poland don't see events on the continent as a zero-sum game. >> on sunday night at 8:00
eastern -- >> the idea that american presidents have always gotten the very best health care available in whatever era they lived, well, i want to tell you that this is a charming myth. and problems began almost immediately with george washington. >> parkway central librarian richard levinson on myths surrounding presidents and their health. he'll talk about how doctors have sometimes contributed to a president's death or saved them from dying without public knowledge. for our complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. senator ted cruz warned commerce department officials today that they could face up to two years in prison for their efforts to hand over control of the internet's domain name system. politico reports the texas senator alleges they violated provisions outlined in the last government spending bill that prevents them from using funds to carry out the transition.
at this three-hour senate judiciary committee meeting, larry strickling said he's outraged by the suggestion and that he and his colleagues haven't started the transition which is set to begin on october 1st. >> this hearing is called to order. good morning. welcome to the witnesses. welcome to everyone who has come to attend. the internet is one of the most revolutionary forces ever unleashed on the world. this transformational technology has changed how we learn, how we communicate, how we do commerce. how we live our lives. people even meet and get married
through the internet. of course, the internet didn't invent itself. it wasn't invented by any politicians. it was invented by the incredible ingenuity of the american people with the financial support of american taxpayers. in the spirit of freedom and generosity that is the essence of our great nation, the american people didn't try to keep the internet just for themselves, but made it available for the benefit of all humanity. since the internet's inception, the united states government has stood guard over critical internet functions. in almost any other country, that power could have been used to deny internet access to websites that were deemed politically undesirable or unpopular or threatening. or simply disfavored by the powers that be. but not here. not in the united states. because of the first amendment
to our constitution which affords more protection for speech than anywhere else in the world, the united states government, as long as it has authority to oversee the infrastructure of the internet has a duty to eninsure that no website is denied internet access on account of the ideas it espouses. under the guardianship of the united states and the first amendment, the internet has become truly an oasis of freedom. but that could soon change. in 16 days, without seeking the consent of the american people, whouts seeking the consent of congress, the obama administration has stated it intends to relinquish the government's historic guardianship and give it instead to an international body known as icann. what is icann? it is not a democratic body. it is a corporation with byzantine governing structure designed to blur the lines of
accountability that is run by global bureaucrats who are supposedly accountable to the technokrats to multinational corporations, to governments, including some of the most oppressive regimes in the world like china, iran and russia. sadly, icann officials have already begun showing extraordinary affinity for china. the world's worst abuser of internet freedom according to freedom house in 2015. numerous icann gathering have featured chinese officials responsible for chinese government sensorship and propaganda. icann's recently departed president and ceo fadi shihadi made china a central focus within icann, and the future of that organization. mr. shihadi is on record saying from icann's standpoint,
engagement with china is not an option. if we do not engage with china at every level of our community, we frankly lose a part of our global legitimacy. it is striking that an organization we are being told we should trust with control of the internet believes legitimacy depends upon engaging in a regime that is the world's leading censor on the internet. silencing speech on the internet. and that imprisons democracy and human rights advocate and nobel laureate lu xiabo. he left after the transition plan was announced to leave for china's world internet conference. a conference that was rightly criticized for refusing to let "new york times" and "washington post" reporters cover it.
as a result, reporters without borders demanded a boycott calling china an enemy of the internet. and yet we are being asked to trust an organization without having our government have the authority to protect free speech to trust an organization whose former leader who shepherded this plan has gone to associate himself with and stand with those who are in the words of reporters without borders, the enemy of the internet. once the government is out of the picture, first amendment protections go away. the first amendment by its term binds the government. doesn't bind private individuals. that means when icann escapes from government authority, icann escapes from having to worry about the first amendment having to worry about protecting your rights or my rights.
imagine an internet run like one of our large private universities today. with speech codes and safe zones. an internet that determines some terms are too scary, micro aggressions are too troubling. why will not allow them to be spoken on the internet. imagine an internet run like far too many european countries that punish so-called hate speech, a notoriously malleable concept that has often been used to suppress views disfavored by those in power. or imagine an internet run by, like many middle eastern countries that punish what they deem to be blasphemy. or imagine an internet run like china or russia that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent.
now some will say none of that parade of horribles will happen. there's nothing to fear here in handing control of the internet to this international group of stakeholders, this mini u.n. well, that's what this hearing is here to determine. is there something to fear? and i will point out a question i think a lot of americans are asking is, why risk it? the internet right now works. it's not broken. what is the problem that is trying to be solved here? that's what this hearing is about as well. i welcome the witnesses. with that, i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you, chairman cruz. we're here today to talk about the protection of internet freedom. that is an aim that i believe everyone in this room respective
of their partisan stripes would and will support. but i first i'm going to take a moment and talk about what should be happening in this committee hearing room. a hearing on the president's nominee to the supreme court, chief judgemaker garland. until february this year, i would not have thought our obligation to consider a sitting president's nominee to our highest court would be a partisan issue. yet six months has passed since the president nominated judge garland. six months without a hearing from this committee. six months since the president nominated someone and six months since we've had the opportunity for this nominee of impressive intellect, experience and character to answer questions before the american people. there's also important work i believe this subcommittee has left untouched so far. last month senator whitehouse and i support a letter to senator cruz to examine whether
our statutes protect our american elections from the interference of foreign entities. since then there have been even more reports of cyberattacks targeting multiple states, boards of election systems and warnings of this growing threat. unfortunately, this subcommittee has not yet responded to this concern, and it appears there may not be any such hearing in advance of our november elections. instead of deal with a vacancy on the supreme koufrt of the united states and foreign cyberthreats to our upcoming election, both issues which if unaddressed threaten the foundations of our constitutional democracy, we are here relitigating a complex and important issue, but which the senate has already reviewed in great depth. we are here today to have a hearing about the transition of the functions to a multistate holding. they've also had two full hearings on this topic in this congress. stewardship of the internet
assigned numbers authority relates to the technical coordination. and under its current contract with the internet corporation for assigned numbers and names, or icann, they verifies that establishes policies and procedures are verified when icann processes changes. once it's formed that verification, ntia authorizes the implementation. the transition about which this hearing centrally is concerned would remove ntia's intered myiary in this essentially clerical process allowing the process to be completed more quickly. it is not, as many or some have suggested, the united states giving up ownership of the internet. the united states does not own the internet and that bears repeating. today the united states does not own the internet. and transitioning of this internet management function that our government has had a small role in performing to a
nongovernmental, non-u.n. group of technical experts, is a process that has been ongoing since 1998 across both republican and democratic administrations. it is important that we execute this transition properly to ensure the security of our economy, our homeland and our fundamental value of freedom and expression. done properly and openly this can enhance our credibility on the international stage and allow us to continue to play a leadership role in keeping the internet free and open for decades to come. delayed, without good reason, or done improperly, we miss a key opportunity to demonstrate our leadership in the internet. that's why, since 2014, a multistakeholder community made up of businesses, many leading american businesses, technical experts, academics, civil societies and associations have engaged in a thorough and rigorous process to chart the course of this transition.
the communities held over 600 conference calls, exchanged over 30,000 e-mails and i want to thank our witnesses today and especially thank those who have been a part of this process. these stakeholders have carried out the important task of ensuring the transition plan satisfies key values laid out by the ntia within our department of commerce. and those are briefly four. supporting and enhancing the multistakeholder model of internet governance. maintenance of the security, stability and resiliency of the internet. satisfaction of the needs and expectations of the global customers and partners and the maintenance of the openness of the internet. ntia has stated it would not accept a proposal that replaces its role in the functions with a governmental or intergovernmental solution. so after this labor intensive multistakeholder process over many years, the plan proposed by the community has not only garnerred the approval of the ntia and has the schts technology companies, industry
groups and civil society organizations who share our profound interests in the freedom, security and economic opportunity represented by the internet. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that a number of importment statements and articles in support of this transition be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> there are many. i will briefly mention there's an open letter to congress signed by microsoft, amazon, google, dell, facebook, intle, hp, the internet association, internet infrastructure coalition, internet society, u.s. chamber of commerce, articles for former secretaries of homeland security, chiefs of staff, ambassadors, seven civil society groups and many others. this san important part of the record of this hearing. this is an important part of what this multistakeholder community meeting means. household name, global leading internet names founded and headquartered in the united states. ideas are exchanged and
viewpoints debated. it's also a market place for global business and as one of the leaders of the senate global freedom calk urks we must engage with individuals, the private sector and other governments to work to preserve the internet as an open platform for commerce and communication. there's been a lot of charged rhetoric about this transition in recent months. i'm eager to hear from our witnesses and move beyond the rhetoric and to understand in detail how this transition can protect u.s. interests and ensure the security and stability of the dns and promote the ability of free expression and global commerce to flourish. one of the most profoundly transformative opportunities and technologies of our time. thank you. >> thank you, senator coons. the chairman has asked to give an opening statement as well. senator grassley. >> the openness and security of the internet of principal importance to all of us who use the internet around the world
and yet it is the united states stewardship and its role over key internet management functions that helps to ensure this openness, security and stability. today this administration intends to end this role, not for technical considerations but for political reasons. this is happening despite the fact that the number of significant questions related to transition remain unanswered, including whether the transition will yield an unconstitutional transfer of united states government property, how the transfer will affect human rights and free speech issues, if u.s.-controlled top level domains such as dotgov and dotnel could be compromised or if the government corporation
for assigned names and numbers will be subject to increased antitrust scrutiny. here at the committee, we continue to engage with the administration about this transition and, to date, answers we received have been very inadequate. it's clear that the administration hasn't conducted a thorough legal analysis of many issues outstanding. in icann, we see an organization that was blasted just this past july by an independent review panel for its inability to carry out basic duties of self-governance. the review panel found that icann board governance committee has, quote, failed several transparency obligations, engaged in cavalier treatment of constituent requests and failed
to undertake an examination of whether icann's staff or contractors complied with their obligations under the articles and by laws of incorporation. these raised serious concerns about the abillities of icann to exercise proper corporate oversight and call into question icann's organizational maturity. these types of governance problems make icann susceptible to corruption and abuse. icann's contract and the united states' continued oversight. such concerns especially when it comes to accountability and transparency are reasons why i have always questioned if the transfer is in the best interest of the american people and global internet users. despite the administration's
intention to give up iana functions, contract, these concerns still persist indicating that this course is misguided and, at beasst, premature. i appreciate senator cruz, your taking the leadership during this hearing and look forward to what the witnesses have to testify about. >> the witnesses in our first panel are the honorable lawrence e. strickling who serves as the assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator for the national telecommunications and information administration. the ntia. the graduate of the university of maryland and harvard law school. mr. strickling preefrsly served as a senior official at the federal communications commission. in the private sector, he served in senior roles of communication service providers, including allegiance telecom incorporated
and core express incorporated. mr. goran marpy is the president and ceo of the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, icann. a graduate of the university of gothenberg school of business, economics and law, he previously served as director general at the independent regulatory body, swedish post and telecom authority. prior to this, he held the position of ceo and founder of app gate, a swedish security software company and worked as a country manager for cisco in sweden. i would ask both of the witnesses to rise and raise your right hand. your left hand will do. and i hope that you recover soon. do you affirm the testimony you are about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god?
very well, mr. strickling. we'll hear your testimony first. >> chairman cruz, chairman grassley, ranking member coons and members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to come here today to testify for freedom. specifically internet freedom. i come here to testify for free speech in civil liberties. i come here to testify in favor of completing the transition of the u.s. government's stewardship of the domain name system to the global multistakeholder community because doing so offers the best hope of protecting internet freedom. protecting internet freedom and openness has been a key criterion for the transition from the day we announced it. the best and most effective way is to depend on the community of stakeholders who own and operate transact business and exchange information over the myriad of networks that comprise the
internet. free extraction is protected by the open decentralized nature of the internet, the neutral manner in which the technical aspects are managed and the commitment of stakeholders to maintain openness. freedomhouse reported recently that internet freedom around the world has declined for the fifth consecutive year, but its prescription for defending internet freedom was clear. it was to encourage the u.s. government to complete the transition to a fully privatized domain name system. what will not be effective to protect internet freedom is to continue the iana functions contract. that contract is too limited in scope to be a tool for protecting internet freedom. it simply designated icann to perform the technical iana functions of managing the database of protocol from ters, allocating ip numbers and processing changes to the root zone file. it does not grant ntia any authority over icann's day-to-day operations or the organization's accountability to the stakeholder community.
extending the contract as many have asked us to do could actually leave to the loss of internet freedom we all want to maintain. the potential for serious consequences from extending the contract beyond the time necessary for icann to complete implementation is very real and has implications for internet freedom and the credibility of the united states and the global community. privatizing the domain name system has been a goal of republican and democratic administrations since 1997. prior to our 2014 announcement to complete the privatization, some governments used ntia's continued stewardship to justify their demands that the united nations or the international telecommunications union or some other international body of governments to take control over the domain name system. failing to follow through on the transition or unilaterally extending the contract will only embolden authoritarian regimes to intensify their advocacy for
government-led or intergovernmental management of the internet via the united nations. as former homeland security secretary michael chertoff and retired vice chairman james cartwright of the joint chiefs staff recently wrote, rejecting or delaying the transition would be a gift to those governments threatened by a free and open internet. over the past two years, the global internet community comprised of businesses, technical experts, public interested groups and governments having engaged in one of the most comle. ing demonstrations of a multistakeholder process ever undertaken. given the intensive level of effort that went into constructing the transition plan and obtaining support from it from all sectors of the community, businesses, civil society and technical experts, it is no surprise that they support the transition. they want to see the united states follow through on its longstanding bipartisan commitment to privatize the do map name system. the transition raises moan
questions. none are more important than the ones asked in march 2014. at that time we also said we would not accept the plan that replaced ntia's role with a government-led or intergovernmental solution. upon the community's completion of the plan, ntia led an interagency review to ensure the plan met these criteria. during this review, the department of justice assessed whether the transition presented any competition issues. and at the end on june 9th, we found the plan satisfied each and every one of our criteria. sig november kantsly in the more than three months since we announced our analysis, no one has taken issue with our conclusion that the plan satisfies these criteria. despite the open and transparent process that developed the plan, misperceptionsth in misrepresentations about the transition continue to circulate. we'll have time to talk through
those at our -- through the testimony this morning, but given the -- my name is nearly expiring, let me close with a commitment and observation. my commitment is this. after the completion of this transition, ntia and the u.s. government will continue to be a forceful advocate to protect and advance american interest. we have always been active participants in icann and other international venues addressing internet freedom. nothing about the transition will reduce the level of effort we put in to representing american interests on these important issues. as to the observation, let me quote an analysis released yesterday by the r street institute whose mission is to promote free markets and limited government. quote, in reality, the internet isn't ours to give away. if congress blocks the transition, it will only make it more likely that the internet will be hijacked by authoritarian governments and special interests. mr. chairman, and members of the subcommittee, i urge you, do not give a gift to russia and other
authoritarian nations by blocking this transition. show your trust in the private sector and the work of american and global businesses, technical experts and civil society who have delivered a thoughtful consensus plan. please support this long-promised privatization. thank you. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. strickling. mr. marby. >> mr. chairman, ranking members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here. i am honored to discuss this important issues and i welcome this opportunity to answer your questions. it marks the next step in the evolution of how the internet addressing system is coordinated. the transition was first envisioned in 1998 when icann was form and supported by democratic and republican administrations since. i'll leave you with one point today. no one controls the internet.
you can think about it as a machine with many moving parts. with icann being just one part of that machine. and icann can be replaced in that machine. it has nothing to do with content or freedom of cretion. icann had nothing to do with protecting free speech on the internet. we do not and cannot impact how sovereign states censor within their borders. the internet with its moving technical parts is currently running smoothly. it's a voluntarily arrangement between actors operating on a basis of trust. icann's primary job is to coordinator the top level of the naming and numbering systems. essentially, publish a telephone book for the internet. the technical feature that helps the operate like a single global network. i can make a small but significant role working together with other organizations such as the internet engineering task force.
the regional registries and internet providers to make the internet work. it is important to note that icann is not a regulator. the only power we have is for more than 2,000 contracts and agreements with registers and other entities across our multistakeholder community. because icann is a california public benefit non-profit organization with headquarters in los angeles and our bylaws and articles of incorporation subject icann to u.s. jurisdiction. icann is not now nor has it ever been exempt from antitrust laws. when icann's contract with the u.s. government expires, nothing will change the world's 3.4 billion internet users. the ending of this contract will not increase the role of governments of the internet or icann as an organization. in fact it will be a strict
requirement that is currently placed. governments that do not support a free and open internet do not support the transition. they hope we will fail or be delayed. the proposal submitted through the u.s. government were developed by u.s. industry, global businesses, technical experts, civil society and academia. stakeholders engaged in more than two years of discussion, debates and compromises they devoted thousands of hours of work to ensure the views of congress, the dchts commerce, the private sector and global stakeholers were all taken into account. the proposals build in additional checks and balances to hold icann organization and the board accountable after the transition. this is why the transition is widely supported by the u.s. business community. u.s. human rights organizations and global internet stakeholders. the u.s. chamber of commerce, microsoft, amazon, dell, the internet association, human rights watch, freedom house and numerous others have voiced support for the proposals
submitted to the u.s. government. the global internet community including all these u.s. companies, organizations and users has called for it. the organization is ready and we believe the transition should proceed on plan without delay. thank you. i'm looking forward for your questions. >> thank you, gentlemen. mr. strickling, you said you are here to testify in support of freedom. and you said freedom, quote, depends on the network of stakeholders. now you and i are both graduates of the harvard law school. somehow we have survived that. >> you better than me, it appears. >> the first amendment by its terms applies only to state action, to government action. the federal government fines the
states, the governments. the first amendment does not bind private corporations. would you agree with everything i've just said? >> yes, sir. >> so your testimony to this committee is that we should trust the stakeholders, none of whom are bound by the first amendment with protecting our rights and indeed you cited a number of the global technology companies. in your judgment, do the global technology companies have a strong and impeccable record of protecting free speech online? >> sir, i would like to make two comments in response to that. first off, in your opening remarks, you positted a vision or a scenario of icann and the u.s. government's role in it
vis-a-vis the first amendment that does not comport with the facts. >> i asked you just a simple question. do the global technology companies have a good record of protecting free speech online? >> i would believe that they do a fine job of that, but i am in no position of saying they've done a perfect job of that. but the comparison here that's important is how will it be different between the existing situation at icann and what will be in the future. when you talk about the first amendment protecting content online, you are talking about website providers who are operating at the second level, third level, at the domain name system. ntia, the department of commerce and the u.s. government has no role whatsoever with respect to who gets domain names at the second level or above. what content they put on those websites. and how it is handled internationally. so when you posit there's some first amendment protection that exists today, i'm not sure what
you're talking about because when you're talking about website owners, we're not involved in that. so there will be no first amendment protection from the united states that would extend in any way to protect people operating at that level of the domain name system. >> i will say it is remarkable and distressing to see a senior representative of the obama administration saying you have no idea what i'm talking about when it comes to first amendment protections. because i'll tell you what i'm talking about, sir. right now under the existing arrangement, if icann decided to delist a website because it disagreed with the political content, i'm assuming your agency would step in to prevent that? >> you're not positting a realistic scenario. icann would be involved -- >> you are saying -- >> top level domain level. we're talking dotcom, dotnet, dotweb. we're talking about the names then other people in the internet ecosystem would then use to develop their own websites. so icann would never be involved in the takedown of a second
level, third level site except to the extent it's involved as part of their contract compliance issues with regist r registrars. >> hold on a second. you just said they wouldn't do that except if they did it as part of their contract compliance. this is all under the context in which hay are operating rnd a contract with the u.s. government. >> it is not, senator. that's not correct. >> sir, please do not interrupt me. >> i apologize, and i will listen to your question. >> in a circumstance where the united states government relinquishes any oversight over this contract, the oversight instead shifts to multinational stakeholders. now you testified in response to the question i asked you earlier that's you think that the global technology companies have, i think the word you used was a fine record. protecting free speech. i will tell you, i for one am not comforted with trusting our
freedom to companies with a, quote, fine record, although you said not perfect, and i suspect there's a reason you said not perfect. because, for example, microsoft, facebook and youtube, which is owned by google, all of whom are supporting this transition, signed a code of conduct with the european union to remove so-called hate speech from european countries in less than 24 hours. that is not what i would call a fine record of protecting free speech work with governments to take down speech they disagree with. likewise, facebook recently faced serious allegations of censoring speech on its platform to silence conservative voices. and i would note this is not uniform one direction or another. progressives, leftists, verizon refused to distribute an optional opt-in text message from nyral pro choice america saying it does not accept programs from any group that
seeks to promote an agenda or distribute material that may be seen as troerchl or unsavory to any of our users. now that i would suggest is not a fine record of protecting the first amendment. listen, verizon, google, facebook, they aren't government entities. they aren't bound by the first amendment. but the united states government is. and for those of us that want the internet to remain free, want to avoid internet censoring, being told that we should trust these stakeholders when their conduct over and over again indeed recently, the journal of law, technology and policy at the university of illinois said, quote, prominent american corporations including cisco systems, mfrts, nortel networks, web sense and sun microsystems have all played a part in quickly equipping china with censorship equipment. you are asking the american people to trust private
companies with control over their free speech and remove the u.s. government role. >> i am not, senator. that is absolutely not correct. >> what is incorrect about it. >> the united states involvement is only at the -- with respect to the iana functions. that's what we contract with icann to perform. that deals at the highest level with the root zone file meaning top level domains. this has nothing to do with what choices individual companies make in terms of what they put on their own websites. it has nothing to do with what is happening with the content of what's passing on the internet day by day. we have no role in that. we have no authority over that. all we're suggesting is that contract in which all we do is verify that change to the root zone file have been made accurately. no longer has a technical reason to exist and no longer has a political reason to exist because, if anything, it's being used by authoritarian governments who do want to control government who do want
to effect what goes over the internet. it gives them the opportunity to argue for that in international venues, and attempt to arrest control away from the multistake holder body that performs these functions today. >> you testified before this committee that the american government would remain, i think the term you used was a, quote, forceful advocate. >> yes, sir. >> of free speech. >> yes, sir. >> that is very much the same language that is used on the ntia's q&a document that says the united states, quote, will continue to play an active leadership role in advocating for a free and open internet within icann as a member of the governmental advisory committee and another international venues. >> that's correct. >> with all due respect, simply peek told that we will argue for the first amendment and try to convince russia, try to convince
china, try to convince iran the first amendment is a good idea, within the governmental advisory committee if this transition goes forward, would the united states government have any greater ability to defend its position than would russia or china or iran? >> the important point to take away from the government advisory committee is that for it to render advice that has any force with the board, it has to be consensus advice. meaning it has to be advice to which no government objects, which means there will be no advice coming out of the governmental advisory committee that the united states doesn't agree to that requires the board to take any particular action with respect to. otherwise the board can continue to reject advice as they do today. >> just to clarify your answer to the question. if the transition goes forward on the governmental advisory committee, the united states would be on the very same footing as would russia or iran or china? >> that's correct. but what i'm telling you is that
nothing will go forward that the united states doesn't agree with. >> very good. we'll continue this questioning. senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so let me make sure assistant secretary strickling, mr. marby, we've got our basic facts right here, if we could. first, it's been presented today that this is a political agenda by the obama administration to, quote, relinquish the historic guardianship of the internet to an international body. if i understand your testimony correctly, the choices before us are continuing on a transition path that would privatize, not relinquish to the u.n. or itu or multigovernment international body, to privatize the dns function essentially -- >> yes. >> -- to allow icann to continue to perform its function, which
is technical and does not involve censorship of the internet. >> that's correct. >> is that correct? mr. marby, just to be clear, does icann have the ability to censor internet content? >> no, we don't. >> mr. assistant secretary, is this a political agenda of this administration, or has it enjoyed bipartisan support across several administrations and across a wide range of members of congress? >> this has been a longstanding commitment of administrations, both democratic and republican going back to 1998. >> and one of the questions asked by the chairman, do we have something to fear? is a question i'll put to you in a different way. what concerns should we have if this transition doesn't go forward? how would other stakeholders act? how would it embolden, as you said, authoritarian regimes. if we delay this transition for months or years, what's happens
next? >> the longstanding debate on internet governance over more than the last ten years has been, do the stakeholders who built the internet, the businesses, the technical experts, civil society who play an important role, should they be the ones making the decisions about how the internet grows and thrives? they've been the ones who have been doing it. you have to like the record they've created based on the incredible growth, innovation, job creation, that has occurred as a result of the internet. or on the other hand, do governments run it? several years ago in 2012, that debate took an ugly turn when at an international conference in dubai for the first time, a majority of governments wanted to give a u.n. agency, the international telecommunication union, more authority in this space. as i said in my -- in many speeches and in testimony before, people use the fact of this iana functions contract,
people being other governments, as an excuse to argue that if the u.s. is in there, we ought to be there as well. and we saw the outcome of that in dubai with a vote where the u.s. was in a minority. since then, we and in particular the state department have through international diplomacy worked hard to reverse that impression and have worked hard to build support for the multistakeholder model among governments in the developing world, governments that hadn't really made up their mind yet. i know people have said nothing about this transition is going to change the views of russia and chipna and they're right. we wouldn't dispute that. but russia and china can't do this by themselves. if this transition doesn't go forward, our credibility as a power in terms of supporting the multistakeholder model will be shot. there will be people that say the united states has reneged on
its promises, and it will be exploited by these foreign governments at conferences that will be starting up as early as october. >> let me make sure i understand you. on the one side we have governments that censor the internet and its content within their own countries. russia, china, iran, others. advocating for a transition of this function to a u.n. body like the itu or something else. a body run by governments. >> yes. >> and you're part of a multistakeholder process that's is instead the alternative seeking to privatize it. >> that's correct. >> to take this government agency, the ntia, out of a purely clerical function that does not censor or control content. >> that's correct. >> in order to take away an argument that authoritarian regimes have? >> yes. >> and if we don't proceed, those authoritarian regimes will have a strength in hand as they seek to persuade countries that
are not yet clear on which way they're going to come down? >> that's correct. >> and how many countries are in that middle ground where you think our delaying this transition might persuade them that the u.n., the itu, some multigovernment agency is better than this privatization? >> there would be dozens of governments in that category. what we know is that through the efforts of the state department and ntia, over the last two to three years, we have basically brought about 30 of those governments on board in support of the multistakeholder model. and the risk is that they and even like-minded governments who have been longstanding supporters of us will see a packtrack on the u.s. government's support of the model as perhaps an argument to go a different direction. >> got it. let me ask a few quick questions before i relinquish this round. mr. marby, will the icann continue to be subject to u.s. law after this transition? much has been made of the possibility that icann might
decamp for another jurisdiction. >> we will be subject for california law, yes. >> any reason to be concerned that icann might suddenly change its state of incorporation, its bylaws, its compliance with u.s. law, its headquarters in los angeles? >> not at all. the whole basis of it is built around california. everything is based on california law. but i would like to add my biggest concern is not about the governments which is a big risk. i also want the committee to understand that this system is voluntary system that nobody controls with different moving parts. if the transition doesn't happen, there could be another icann outside the united states with no protection of dotgov, dotmil or anything else. it works together for the benefit of it all but could be replaced. >> let's make sure we get that point. just because the structure, the architecture of the network of networks that is the internet
was initially developed and designed in the united states by u.s. agencies and companies, does not mean that that has to continue to be the case. and if the international >> that currently maintained this functioning internationally, if they lose confidence in the process toward privatization transition they may instead step up competing positions and the current network of networks might begin to track tour further and that would harm the internet's functioning and current architecture. >> yes. >> last, what safe guards are there against what's been raised against one of the things we should be concerned about? what safe guards are there against potential capture in the further. >> well, there's many.
governments cannot sit as voting members of voting directors. number two, in the committees we talked about there's a strengthening of the provision under which they can provide consensus advice to the board it's now defined as advice to which no country objects so that means that that advice to which the board has to provide special attention or special consideration now will only apply to advice that the united states government agrees with with. third to the extent that they created them powered community as a way to put -- exercise powers against the board in terms of he viewing and approving the budget. even removing board members, governments if they choose to participate in that and they have in the united states and
and another un agency or multigovernment agency or the future where it fractured and competing ds functions have been set up or it's been underway and much of it private sector lead that is a privatization of a function that is essential to the operation of the internet but is in no way involved in censorship of the internet. is that your testimony today? >> yes, sir. >> in 2015 you testified that you would, quote, take a look
and make sure that if there is a way that we can strengthen u.s. governments rights to those name wes will do it. end of quote. while they affirmed that any change can only be made with the express approval of the u.s. government, we have come to learn that the affirmation has come not through a binding legal agreement but a mere exchange of letters and it remains possible that they could redell fwat these and follow up and has the ntia with the justice department and member of the working group regarding this language and if
so, what was their response? >> the answer to your first question is the united states does not wish to seed any sovereignty we might have and that's why we have done this as an exchange of the letters. the united states had the complete authority and control. that condition exists today and it will continue on into the future. to enter into a contract would in some respects risk indicating that they have rights in the control or authority over those names that it does not have today. so in evaluating the desirability of doing a contact it became clear understanding the history of these domain names that that was risky and might lead to conceding some form of authority over these names we enjoy today. >> what about consulting with the justice department? >> well, we consulted with the department of defense because it
operates and i don't recall whether there was a specific discussion with the department of justice about it but this was the course of action that the operator wish to take in terms of doing this as an exchange of letters as opposed to doing a contract. >> are they opposed to executing a binding legal agreement with the administration that would ensure that the u.s. continue to control certain top level domains like the ones i mentioned permanantly into the future? >> it's up to the u.s. government to decide how it would like the protection. we don't see that we have any rights over there today and i'd also like to restate the fact that if the transition doesn't two through, there will be no safe haven for those names. >> let me ask you, something
that senator combs has touched on. in your testimony you explained that ican place of incorporation isn't a subtle matter and that it and the location could potentially change your predecessor went so far as to announce in 2014 that it had given him the green light to work on a legal structure in switzerland. so no matter how much the administration and ican wish to down play this issue and it's an issue that hasn't truly been settled. so is it opposed to including requirements to ensure that the place of incorporation never
changes from california or is it impossible and a reason why this transition shouldn't two forward? >> i think it's fair to say the protection is tronger than tstr laws. it's built around carolina law. that's how we do things. so to be able to do, you have to go all the way down to where we are organized to be able to do that. so it's a stronger protection than just the by laws. >> thank you mr. chairman. thanks to both of you for being here. i'd like to start with you if that's okay. as i'm sure you're aware some observers and some legal scholars and other analysts of this industry have contended that any protection from
antitrust liability that they may have enjoyed in the past ended in 2009. a change in the level of oversight specified by the ntia contract. >> however, there's a 2015 decision rendered by a panel of the u.s. court of appeals. affirming that the dismissal brought by nail space it suggested that some insulation from may still remain. more to the point the 9th circuit's reasoning supports the conclusion that this continuing measure of protection. whatever sit that remains of the protection may fall away with the expiration of the contract.
in particular the 9th circuit reasoned it could not infer that it entered into an anticompetitive greem and the apparent insider driven process for new top level domains was, quote, fully consistent with it's agreement with the department of commerce closed quote. by way of explanation the court noded it was understood from the inception that it's board would include industry insiders and that the board would approve the application process. >> i'd like to ask you the question, given the uncertainty of the situation as far as antitrust law goes and the uncertainty that i think is acknowledged by the 9th circuit
in this opinion did ntia reach out to the department of justice, antitrust division for an opinion on possible liability risks that they might incur. that the board of directors might face following the removal of insulation from a normalized antitrust analysis brought about by the termination of the ntia contract. is that something that happened. >> during the evaluation of the transition plan there was an inner agency committee of federal agencies including the department of justice as part of that process the department of justice looked as whether there were any competition concerns that might result from this transition and they concluded that there were no. it's our view they have not enjoyed antitrust liability not going back to its creation in
the late 90s. so we have never seen the transition as take agoway something that they told today because we have not recognized that they have any antitrust ill immunity today. that's also the department of justice's view. so that the transition obviously wouldn't change that circumstance. because they wouldn't have it going forward. that was all evaluated as part of our overall review of the transition proposal. >> you don't dispute that some courts have seen it differently? you don't dispute that. >> i know the department of justice has offered a briefing for the chairman and members of the subcommittee to go into that in greater depth. i'm aware of a 2009 case that's cited as providing some level of
immunity. and that involved a predecessor. the court case that you're describing in the 9th circuit, i thought there was no cause of action stated. i don't believe they made any finding of immunity as part of their holding. >> it was a different sort of holding and they were immune if they were a government actor but there was a connection to this government entity that seemed to be significant in finding the liability. >> but am i correct that they found no cause of action? didn't dismiss the case. >> they found no cause of action. as my time is expiring i do want to know and let me ask this of you.
it's a nonprofit corporation organized under california law and it has been since it's inception and subject to both u.s. and california law post transition? >> yes. >> okay. so it's not in a position of saying we want to keep our options open. it's committed to staying in california, remaining a california corporation? >> as i said, it's built on california law. it's funded on california law and plus the different one is based around california law as well. >> thank you. i see my time is expired.
>> could i have 15 seconds please? >> sure. >> i thought that he answered my question and senator lee followed up. i'd like to know from you for clarification whether or not it's in the bylaws, is there no way that you can sit here and assure me that it will never change. >> and any decision that is made has to be made by the community and not by me. that's the way that this is set up. i'm here to execute the wish of the community. >> so you can't assure us that
it will always be under california law in california. >> to be able to change who we are because of the fact that we built on california law and i would say it's a hard thing to do. with no california law as the basis. you made a lot of references to the by laws. he told us we should trust the bylaws because it ensured that nothing could go out of the government advisory committee without consensusful does anything prevent it from changing the by laws any time it wishes? >> they're built into the system to be able to change the bilaws.
>> so yes i can change the bylaws. if we sit here today and say there's something in the bylaws after the transition i can change the bylaws and remove whatever the assurance is we're told to trust? >> if you are referring to the icann organization, the answer is no. >> icann cannot change it's ownbylaws. >> as i said, to be able to make sure that no one takes control of the icann it has three parts. don't have the possibility to go in and change it. the only ones that can do it are the kmcommunity. >> it's the community and u.s. businesses that had a questionable record of protecting free speech in the past and have the authority to
change the by laws in the future; is that correct? >> if someone wants to change this it's easier -- >> i'm not asking which is easier. i'm asking if the bylaws can be changed? >> there are so many checks and balances within the system i would say it's hard hi possible to do. >> this isn't a complicated question? can the bylaws be changed? either they can or they can't. >> i cannot do it. the community have checks and balances but they're built on california law. >> and under california law the bylaws can be changed by what you referred to as the state holders community, correct? >> after the checks and balances built into that system that all represent u.s. users as well.
>> now to follow up on your exchange can you tell this committee today that there is zero possibility that i can choose to prove abroad to a foreign jurisdiction? >> i don't have the mandate to take that decision as i explained early and we have no interest in moving icann. >> but you cannot say there is zero possibility it will occur. >> i'm only representing the organization. i would say it's highly unprobable to do that. >> well, then let me ask you, your predecessor and february 21st, 2014 where the french senate said quote, first to begin working on a parallel legal international structure maybe in switzerland. why was he telling the french senate something different from what you're telling them.
>> first of all, i cannot read it because it's too low and i can't explain that because i don't know which circumstances he said that. >> so you have no explanation for your predecessor making reference to creating an international organization in switzerland for icann. >> if you look back to the bylaws and how we set it up, also the u. s. government was satisfied with the protection we built in. >> talking about your predecessor, let's talk about another aspect of his record. which is that he stated if we do not engage with china at every level of our kmun we lose a part of our global legitimacy and after leaving icann he became co-chair of an advisory committee to the world internet conference organized by china. he did so after reporters
without boarders called for a boycott on that conference saying that china was an enemy of the internet. now do you agree with his views of china? >> maybe this is my english. i don't understand the question. >> do you agree with his views about china? about the legitimacy of china, of the need to work with them, even when they're censoring the internet. >> my understanding is about 300 million internet users in china. we are a nonpolitical technical kmun that works with the community to make sure that it functions technically. >> well let me ask you this, do you agree with what reporters without boarders said in
december of 2015 that china is quote the world's leading enemy of the internet. do you agree with that? >> you're asking personal questions which i will now answer in a personal way. the reason i work for icann and took this job is internet is a vehicle to be able to open up hearts and mind of people around the world. when it comes to policies on top of the internet. irann cannot prevent any country or network owner to be able to prohibit access to information on the internet. what we do is to create the opportunity for networks. >> so let me just ask this question again because you didn't answer it. do you agree with reporters
without boarders that china is the world's leading enemy of the internet? >> there's many countries around the world that prohibit access to information. i think it's bad every time. >> do you think china is an enemy of the internet? >> i didn't say rank. i said do you agree china is enemy of the internet. >> there's a risk that china together with russia and other countries will use that possibility to move the supervision of icann to the un. >> is icann bound by the first amendment. >> i think you know the answer to that question. >> i'll asking your views. >> to my understanding, no. >> it to finally make a point that the criticism, the opposition to transferring
control of the internet to international authority of stake holders without authority of the u. s government is bipartisan critisism. it's across the spectrum because freedom, ensuring the internet free of censorship is and should be a bipartisan objective. i would note that former obama administration federal chair commission chairman has stated that it difficult to get straight answers out of icann and if commerce cuts the cord before these issues are ironed out there will be a lot of risk to consumers. that's the chairman of the federal trade commission appointed by president obama. and jeffrey bullock from the home state of the ranking member on this committee.
and legitimate policy concerns have been brushed to the curve by staffers and well skilled and manufacturing processes to disguise predetermined decisions and likewise i want to point to yet another famous right wing organization, the washington post. the washington post editorial board said, quote, it's bad enough that these authoritarian governments express online repression within their boarders. they should not be let anywhere near the governance of the internet's global infrastructure. no one has yet had a convincing explanation for how the multistake holder model will be ill immune to influences this criticism is widespread. it's bipartisan and unified behind the need to preserve
freedom online. >> thank you and very briefly without objection i'd like to enter each of the three stalts into the record. >> absolutely. >> first if i might briefly speak to my friend, neighbor and former colleague, now secretary of state, the come mens that he has made related very narrowly to.llc and .inc and whether or not they were being governed or managed in a way that could be misused by entities that are not legal corporations to represent that they are corporations and has nothing to do with the transition process that is before us today. let me ask two questions and then make a comment if i could. first to the assistant secretary is there anything about this transition that will newly empower foreign governments to sensor the internet?
>> no. >> is there anything about failing to make this transition that might empower foreign governments to have a greater role in the structure and architecture of the internet if we don't move forward. >> within their own countries govern ms can do what they wish today. that's what lead to the comments such as the chairman pointed out about china and the practices it engages in to restrict content from its own citizens. there's nothing about the way the internet runs today that gives us or icann or anyone else any ability to step in and change what those countries choose to do. our hope has to be that over time as the stake holder groups grow and influence an importance in their own countries that they bring about that change internally. that's the whole core of this model and what we're seeing in
developing countries and what we have seen over the last several years is that as countries see this, as businesses in these countries come to icann meetings and see how this works, as their civil society groups start to develop and they see how they can participate in this process, as they emerge and grow, you're seeing these movements being filled up in these developing countries to build this in support of freedom and stake holder control and against government control. that's what we risk losing if this transition doesn't go forward because countries give up hope once they see the united states is no longer serious about supporting this model. >> we're going to hear the second panel from a number of witnesses who support the concept of the transition who support the privatization of the
function but who say it's not ready yet. do you believe this transition plan has been adequately tested? and are you confident in the continued security and stability of the internet post transition? or should we listen to those that caution, who urge caution and delay? >> the transition is ready now. the only change that occurs is that the united states will no longer be in the middle of updates that take place today. today icann transmits a change to us and we transmit it there with instructions to go ahead and imple m the change. that one technical role would be eliminated. there has been testing over the last many months of the new system that will allow that to occur without the government in the middle and that system checked out over 90 days of testing error free.
so we are ready to go forward. today the united states government does not have control over the accountability of icann. that has to come from the community. now we have advocated and we have been a participant in improving the accountability over the years. >> they have nothing to do with the contract and will come in place with their own authority. >> so is it possible that the
editorial from the washington post that was just shown and is a year and a half old does not reflect the process in preparing for this transition? >> it was written before a transition plan had been completed. >> so it's not relevant. >> my time is about to run out. i want to ask a question that i think is posh. there was a big display put up of a quote from your predecessor and i want to be careful about this and get it right because i think the point that was being made demonstrates in which the whole thrust of this hearing gets exactly wrong the moment before us or the decision before us. he was testifying to the french senate and saying that we should begin to develop pair lel legal
international structures perhaps in switzerland. i don't know him. i haven't read into that testimony. i don't know anything other than what was put up here but it seals to me that what he is advocating for is exactly the negative outcome that you're saying is likely if we delay this transition. meaning, others who are fans perhaps of china or russia or other states, others that are suspicious of any u.s. role will begin to actively advocate for creating an alternative that isn't incorporated in the united states and isn't headquatered in california and isn't largely guided and lead by this stake holder community but is instead outside of the united states headquatered in switzerland athat reflected the possibility
that a come immediately alternative competing group may well be set up and may well be the first step toward a competing system. airplanes take off and land all over the world in various airports and there is essentially one global system by which airplanes and airports communicate with each other and convey their schedules and decide who is going to take off and land where and by which control towers make decisions about who is going to land what. >> they're not talking about the content of advertising of those airlines. they're not governing the conversations happening on the airplanes but there's one global system for the management of air traffic. >> imagine there's a competing system that didn't talk to a u. s.-lead system of managing air
traffic we're not talking about the content of the traffic, just how it flows. if i understood your testimony correctly, moving forward with this transition, which you have tested and which you have confidence is a way to show to the world that we can continue with the current architecture. he was talking about the real threat that a competing system through the internet through a come competing structure may move forward. is that connect? >> yes, that is correct and there are tests of those systems already today where you're looking to alternatives and is happening outside the u. s.
and then the control and that's why internet consists of so many different moving parts that works together under trust. under the assumption that the u.s. will leave this to expire and it's set up by the u.s. and the world is grateful for having this model because i think it's beneficial not only for the rest of the world but also for the unfortunately s. and u.s. businesses and today you can reach 3.4 billion around the world as the business potential and set up, working together and all of them are important and they can't be replaced. >> thank you. thank you. >> i want to ask one question with regard to the second panel
coming up. and trying to register a top level domain. they tried to register the ping domain name and wound up paying over $1 million to do that at auction. i think it's troubling that it was forced to pay for its own intellectual property. how will the transition address con serns of american trademark holders? and will the process of resolving these kind of claims change following the transition? >> let me start in terms of the impact by it itselfment what you're striebing is the process established by the community as to how it would expand the list of top levels available and as a result of this hundreds of new domains have gone into the route file. it has nothing to do with the performance of the functions so the contract that we have under
which they perform updates does not reach this policy making activity of icann so when the contract goes away it will still be up to the community of businesses and everyone to set the policies. now the example that you're talking about comes right out of the guide book that the community developed over years in terms of what to do when multiple parties seek the same domain name because it's not like the trademark world where people can like apple use apple as a trademark in one context and a different company could use apple in a totally different industry. >> unfortunately on the internet only one person can have .apple. how do we deal with the competing claims on the names and what the kmun decided and i mean all of the businesses that are now seeking domain namnames
names, they need to work it out and at the end of the day the process that they put in place to resolve at the end is an auction which can be conducted privately or under the icann. the parties decide that. has it been a great outcome? that's a good question. if they feel that the experience of dealing with these contention sets were people ask for the same domain name has worked out the way they expected it to when they set the policy several years ago. >> it's not in anyway within the scope of the contract that we have with icann.
>> this will be the final round of questions for the first pa l panel. >> if congress passes an appropriation writer this month mandating that ntia renew the contract with icann will you commit that ntia will comply with that man day? >> we'll follow your direction sir. >> so you are aware and that means it. >> that's what we did. >> you are aware of the section
5 act already makes clear that none of the funds maybe used to relinquish during fiscal year 2016 with respect to internet domain name functions including responsibility with the effect to the authoritative file and it's existing federal law. >> that's correct. >> passed by congress and signed by the president. >> that's correct. and i have followed that as well as all members of my staff. >> so your testimony as follows. >> absolutely. >> you're aware when none of the funds maybe spent carrying out a function, that means not only dollars but time. >> i have done nothing to relinquish the responsibility of ntia with respect to the
internet domain name system during this physical year. >> so it's my understanding that ntia awarded a contract in the amount to harvard university to study the transition plan, is that correct? >> we asked for expertise, that's correct. >> it's my understanding that the ntia paid the professor $9,207 to conduct a he view of the transition plan. >> that sounds correct, yes. we absolutely retained her. >> it is my understanding that the ntia incurred expenses of $1,658 for two meetings in new york with experts relating solely to the transition. is that correct. >> we had two meetings in new yorkful i don't remember the dollar amount but that sounds right. >> you have used government salaries staff and prepare and draft the iana transition proposal assessment report. is that correct?
>> just as congress directed us to, yes, sir. and exceeding an amount available and an appropriation or fund for the expenditure. are you aware of that? >> i'll aware of the antideficiency act, yes, sir. >> how would you explain to this committee, your conduct, expenditures we went through, all working to relinquish the control of the internet. how is that consistent with federal law and the
antiefficiency act. >> well, you just added a word that's not in the writer. you added working to relinquish responsibility. i have not relinquished any responsibility but the profession does not reach preparatory activities and indeed congress expected us to engage in preparatory activities because at the time the first rider was passed in 2014 we were directed to conduct a review of any transition plan that we received. congress understood and that we would be engaged in activities preparing for the transition but those themselves do not relinquish responsibility. >> do you have an opinion stating as you put in preparatory functions are not included in this rider? >> we were so adviced. >> do you have a written opinion.
>> i would ask you to submit that legal advice to this committee. >> i understand. i will take that back. >> but you do not have an opinion from the office of legal council of the united states department of justice to that effect? >> i'm not aware of one, no. >> i would point out that under your interpretation that i consider to be tortured interpretation of this language and i am faithful to the text. your interpretation is preparatory conduct is not encompassed in this so that the commerce dlt can can do absolutely everything required to relinquish the internet and the responsibility right up until the moment of pushing the button and -- >> i'm sorry. >> and your position is every single act of preparation can be done and as long as it actually
hasn't been culminated with the relinquishment, that is perfectly okay. i'm going to say two things. number one, i'm going to ask you, if that interpretation is right, why on earth would congress pass this? this is a meaningless ryder. if your interpretation is right, what is congress prohibiting? >> they prohibited us from relinquishing responsibility but let me ask you this, senator, what is the responsibility you referred to there? the only responsibility we have is not based on any statutory operation. >> i understand. >> let me finish. if i may -- >> no, you may not. you may answer my questions. i understand -- >> i am telling you the responsibility we have has been to privatize the domain name system. >> i understand that you have a political mandate to do that but let me be very clear. the fact that you disagree with the policy judgment of the congress of the united states as reflected by federal law, you're entitled to disagree with it.
here's what you're not entitled to do, sir, and i want to speak for a moment to the employees who work for you. to the government employees at the ntia and the department of commerce. these legal prohibitions have been passed into law by congress and signed by the president. if your political superiors instruct you to proceed with this transition, to spend your time you have an obligation to violate federal law and let me note for you, if you don't, if your superiors direct you to do it and you carry out those orders you are risking personal criminal liability of up to two years in prison. and i would note, this administration that has
politically mandated handing over oversight of the internet, this administration is not going to prosecute it. but in january of 2017, a new administration will be in washington. we don't know who that will be but i am advising the employees of the department of commerce, your political superiors do not have the authority to instruct you to violate federal law and violate what congress has passed. he told us that he disagreed with congress. he entitled to disagree with congress. he is not entitled to instruct employees to violate federal law and each of you should be on notice to work hard and have long distinguished careers that political appointees cannot instruct you to violate federal law. >> senator, we have followed the law. we have not relinquished our responsibility. i am outraged that you're
accusing us of doing that especially when the very conduct that you raised if i may read to you, the committee directs ntia to conduct a review and analysis of any proposed transition in the contract so we are directed to do that as part of the spending bill that was passed for fiscal year 2015 and carried forward in fiscal year 2016. it's clear that congress never intended to relinquish the responsibility to mean all the activities we were engaged in because we were directed specifically to conduct the review of the plan. >> a committee report cannot change clear statutory text and you under your interpretation which i consider not a reasonable interpretation of federal law because it renders federal law absurd and meaningless, under your interpretation this had no
effect whatsoever and they need to make an interpretation. are they willing to risk their own careers based on what i need to be a political interpretation. i hope the answer to that was no. and you are welcome to disagree with it. but you are not welcome to disobey federal law passed by congress. >> i have not disobeyed any federal law with respect to this. >> giving you the opportunity, given that exchange to put on the record your understanding of whether you were employees have something to fear.
and your interpretation would render it absurd and meaningless. what i understood your view to be is that congress at the same time directed you, let's give a metaph metaphor. it's the he kwequivalent of sayg we're going to urge the department of homeland security or the fbi to plan and prepare for a future acquisition of a headquaters while at the same time saying you should not build a new headquaters in this year. that's not absurd is it? >> not at all. we were preserving a status quo. >> so your understanding was that there's no absurdity or profound tension between being told and continue to engage in responsible professional review of this transition plan but do not execute on that transition plan in one fiscal year.
>> absolutely. >> that's your understanding and you have gotten guidance that supports that view. >> yes. >> so do you have any fears from yourself or your employees that you're in violation of statutes or the directions of congress? >> i do not. plus as i said before our responsibility that stems solely from an executive memorandum of 1997 has been to privatize the domain name system. there's no federal statute or federal regulation directing ntia or any other agency of the federal government to run the domain name system. >> thank you. i'm going to defer to my colleague. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman and thank you for your service. >> i want to thank you for the work you do. i worked on this issue as a member of the commerce committee so i have been familiar with it for awhile and i know at first
when peel hear about this it seems like why can't our own government just control all of this. this is an international internet and one of the crucial aspects is it is based on the open free flow of information and it's not run or controlled by any one government it's now been over a decade and ntia is simply working to transition it's role. however we do know that there are other government across the world that want to control the internet or want to stop the spread of information on the internet to their citizens and limit the democratic values that it provides by allowing people to freely share in information across the world. can you expand on just stepping back a little here, could you expand on why this transition is
important to sending a clear message that the internet should be run by the multistake holder process, by people from various govern ms and not by one government. >> and that's been the long policy of congress specifically as well. back in 2012 both houses of congress passed resolutions supporting the multistake holder model. >> what year was that? >> 2012 and this senate passed a resolution reaffirming it's support for the multistake holder model in 2015. >> in 2012 were the republicans in control of the house when that happened? i think so. >> i think they were. >> they were, yes. >> continue on. >> but the point is that support for the multistake holder model has been bipartisan here in congress so it's been important that we have served as a beacon to the rest of the world of the importance that civil society,
businesses, technical experts play in charting the course of internet. particularly the technical aspects reflected today and as i testified earlier there's been a long struggle between those authoritarian govern ms that are threatened by their citizens being more actively engaged in managing internet resources who have sought to bring internet governance under the authority of the united nations or international telecommunication union. that's what is at risk here. >> what you're say as good what we tried to do is set up a process so that it is the internet governed by the multistake holders instead of going over to the u.s.? >> absolutely. that's been the battle we have been fighting for more than ten years. >> who wants it to go to the un? >> countries lead by russia, china and other countries that
are threatened by free and open internet. they feel that if it can be brought into a frame work where only governments can make decisions then they'll be able to preserve their ability to sensor within their own borders sometimes. >> and will the united states continue to be an important stake holder under the icann establishment when that gets completed. >> we will continue to participate. >> how will that be? >> that will be done through the government advisory committee but we in the state department will also be advocates for internet freedom and internet governance issues in all international venues. >> at the commerce committee hearing on this topic in may i asked ambassador gross about the accountability working group and he testified that accountability is kitticly porn and agreed with the report that they have or
will complete all the tasks by the transition proposal. what aspects of the accountability proposal give you confidence that they'll remain accountable after the transition? >> well, what the proposal has done is first it's preserved largely the existing structure of icann and what it's done is created a set of powers for the community to be able to exercise if the icann board takes an action that the community disagrees with. these powers include being able to reject a budget. and it serves as important accountability over how icann
conducts it's going forward. >> is the ranking member of the aebt trust subcommittee focused on the issues. they were discussed earlier and my staff told me and i understand that icann is, has and will be treated as a private party and like any private party when it's compelled to act by the u. s. government it's not liable for the compelled actions. beyond that argument icann can claim no i immunity. is that your understand? >> they never had anti-trust immunity and won't have it going forward. >> how does it effect their ability to claim immunity. >> won't effect it one bit. >> thank you very much. >> i thank both of the witnesses for your testimony. the first panel will now be excused and we'll welcome the second panel to come and testify.
>> now i'd like to introduce our second panel on this important topic. we'll have 7 witnesses testifying on the second panel the president and founder of tech free tom. a graduate of the university of duke and university of virginia school of law and a senior fellow and center for internet freedom at the progress and freedom foundation. prior to that he was a lawyer in private practice. jonathan is theth of act. the app association and specializes in issues including internet governance, privacy, security and business period
development. he has been a member of the community for over ten years and has chaired the affirmation of commitment review of competition, choice and trust in the new manufacturing corporation. the parent company, the top three golf equipment brand. a graduate of pepper dine university school of law. and work force arizona council. and becky birth. deputy officer and graduate of yale university law center previously worked at the washington, d.c. office while joining the private sector she
served national affairs at the telecommunication information. mr. john who ton is products and web sites including internet pharmacies. prior to joining he worked in the office of national drug control policy where he worked on prescription drugs. mr. steve, executive director and he has spent 16 years as an advocate pertaining to the online consumer -- he'll also serve as the elected policy and mr. paul rosen wine, is former
>> let me clear at the start i do support the transition. the united states should be involved yes let's make that transition. but the case has not been made for severing the ultimate con yule link. too many important questions are remained unanswered about that, i will work after the transition, discipline and see
additional input ntia sought was that of hand picked set of experts hired on a no-big contract, that was designed to awkward questions under the rug. and yet increasingly it is. they do offer many advantages but when government uses them to circumvent the administrative law it upsets the law, which brings me concerned about which is simply who decides. congress they made a decision not to exercise their option to renew the contract. it is just logically impossible that ntia could have made this decision without expanding
taxpayer dollars because taxpayers pay the salaries of everyone at ntia. the committee report and all of the talk about spending money on other preparatory activities is a red herring it distracts from the real issue which is the time spent making a decision that is clearly already been made. and i would say that ntia's attempt to read this rider into a blif i don't know is a blatant violation. i will leave you with this quote, the power of the purse has long been recognized as the most important curve in the constitution. the appropriations cause was intended to give congress exclusive control of funds spent by the government and to give the democratic elected presidential of the people an absolute check on executive action on requiring an expenditure of funds. no that wasn't james madison, although he did say something much like that. it was written in 1987 by members of congress of both
parties. in the official committee reports about the iran contour affair. in other words, defending the power of the purse didn't use to be a partisan issue and it shouldn't be, senators i urge you to defend your constitutional prerogatives but i also urng you to focus on negotiating a sound footing in the future. yes that means an extension of some kind of contract for trial period, it's not obstructing the transition indefinitely. there is a compromise that gets us out of it. it involves getting them out of the editing of the file without relinquishing the ultimate contract yule right that is the thing that's in the past and it needs to at least in trial period. again thank you for inviting me to testify here today. >> thank you, sir. >> chairman cruz, members of the committee, thanks for inviting me to speak today and mom thanks for watching.
i'm a former software developer and i have no apologyist, my icann meeting i compared them to a referee that refused to committee to their calls. in fact my work began with the very concerns raised here today that the functions might be taken over by some sort of intergovernmental body. for that reason my members committed me to engaging over the last 11 years and improving the operational excellence and trying to bring about continuous reform inside the organization and i am harped so much about performance metrics that i'm known as metrics man inside. what's been missing, however, is a comprehensive framework for accountability. and there was nothing that was going to make that happen with respect to the u.s.' contract with ican, it wasn't happening. when the announcement was made about the transition, confess i was one of the people guilty of making a big deal about it
because it represented an opportunity to really focus the community on building for accountability of that i believe was always necessary, not linked to the transition but to the proper functioning of icann. my written testimony deals with a lot of the objections that have been raised and i'm sure they'll deal with a lot of them in questions. unfortunate game that we'll be playing. i feel that sort of the techie, the guy that was programming sockets in the late '80s. it might behoove me to talk about the environment in which we operate. the real question is whether or not they're ready for the transition, i believe the real answer is that it has already occurred. first as chairman cruz mentioned we wisely gave away the internet during the reagan administration. it's a set of protocols and best practices that allow networks of networks to cooperate together as a single unit it is entirely
voluntary and that is the genius of the internet. there isn't police force or if they have to. it's in everyone's best interest to do so, that's terribly important because they only do so because it's in their best interest to do so, we need to preserve that environment. we have to set do you know the notion of control because we don't have it. and think in terms of influence that we do have but we're threatened to lose. let me share a quick story in late 80s and 90s the preferred method to navigate was something called gopher, it came out of the university of minnesota. and it was fairly rigid system. in 1993 the university of minnesota decided to start charging for it. this might have been the entire reason, it was something that sped the whole world's transition away from the united states built technology to a swiss built technology called
the worldwide web, that we now use today. so the internet community is perfectly cable of making a change. it's an example we're attempting to exert control where none exist results only in a loss of influence. let's talk about the function contract briefly as it had been said before, it's a spreadsheet or database on the web and the u.s.' role in approving editions and subtractions has become obsolete. should the united states be in position of telling europe could they have dot eu example. it's disconnected from the parade that you will hear and the transition has to be kept different from those things. the accountability mechanisms that have been put in place will give parties more opportunities to hold it to account than they've ever enjoyed under this,
so-called stewardship of the ntia. the community is capable of strong action. they face down and make sure these mechanisms were put in place. they face down the united states government, too, to make sure that accountability was a part of this discussion. it was not originated by the ntia or by the community. here is the harsh reality. if the united states decided to just poll the contract and hand it over to stanford, for example, the global community could certainly just ignore it. and that is the harsh reality that we have to think about. we can go on with business as usual, worse, still, the united states could pass some sort of resolution that said that there should be an alternate route, maybe all or some, et cetera, would adopt this new route, leaving the fragmentation that senator kuntz talked about so eloquently in the early part of the testimony. it's these things we need to be really focused on.
this transition is only symbolic, the only question we're asking today is whether or not the united states is going to contain -- continue to have its leadership position in the world and its advocacy for the stake holder model. this should be better turned, internet freedom, one of the consequences of the united states losing the moral high ground. i will argue those consequences are dire, thank you, and i look forward to all of your questions. >> thank you. >> good morning. >> my name is dawn grove, i'm corporate counsel. i chair the arizona counsel and
i chair on the board of directors of chamber in commerce and industry both of which oppose the current transition. the corporation is parent of ping and ping registry, ping is one of the top three golf equipment brands in the u.s. and provides over 8,800 jobs in arizona. we are a closely held private family business started by my grandfather in his garage and we've been passionately designing a manufacturing custom fit premium golf equipment and other products in arizona for over 57 years. we have vigilantly protected our brand. and that name, in many categories, including for domain name registry services, our name is our life blood, reflects the innovation design and services that we put into every one of our products. we believe the transition
through now and its current state will endanger manufacturer's rates to trademark brand names, severely disadvantage states rights, jeopardize national security and prevent the safeguarding of the internet freedoms we've come to depend on. through its affiliated country, paid icans set application fee for dot ping and in our application we informed our well-known rights of the famous ping marks. wealthy insider based in india that had ever made or sold a ping product had not trademarked the name throughout the world, filed a competing application with icann for dot ping. we expected it with its actual knowledge of the india company's of domain decisions against its affiliate and knowledge of our trademark rights and our global brand to follow the own charter, bylaws and applicant guide book and disqualify the competing
applicant. i believe mr. strickland also said that there were somehow equal applications. i find that stunning. we eventually discovered that due to the dependence on the sale of second-level domain names, which the indian company would have sold more of since our registry is a closed dot brand, they had no incentive to follow its rules and bylaws and the lawyers made it clear that they would consider our application breached if we took them to court. under duress, we ended up paying the $1.5 million at auction to keep our name. i cannot begin to tell you how scarey it was for my family to go into that auction knowing that we might lose our name after 57 years, 56. our experience is not unique and i'm sure you're familiar with
the many independent review complaints filed against them and with the abuses of the trademark clearinghouse with the dot sux registry. it's more than a technical matter or a spreadsheet. it's currently accountable for both policy and technical functions and we heard secretary strickland say that today about the policy that they make following the transition of global stake holders, they'll be a stand alone monopoly accountable only to its stake holders, including 162 foreign government members and 35 observers, the governmental advisory committee or -- and under proposed accountability reforms, they consensus advice must be taken unless over written by super majority of the board. this is a major change from the status quo and it gives more power in the -- in going forwad than it ever had before. moreover, state governments are excluded from voting.
states such as texas, california, new york whose gdp and populations dwarf that will have no voting right of the table. if the plan is so complete and so inclusive, where is the seat at the table for the 50 sovereign states. it also appears that both ntia and ican are operating under the contractor that continues absent the contract. if we supply that conclusion such as defense contracting that will lead to chaos. the internet is no less important national security. the so-called empowered community, convoluted structure of stake holders that will be activated in times of crisis, assuming they can all agree it is a crisis is not suitable to provide day-to-day oversight of the board. the community requested and the board rejected a streamlined
single member model of governance that would have provided a method of governance -- a method for day-to-day oversight by the community. it doesn't take much imagination to see how the stage will be set for an enhanced to step into that role since the community will not have that ability for that day-to-day oversight. in the rush to meet the deadline, some of the most important work was left undone, work stream two issues such as the permanent jurisdiction and the protection of human rights, like free speech, they don't get addressed until after the transition. make no mistake, there are participants involved who desire to leave california and be reconstituted in other jurisdiction outside of the easy reach of the u.s. corp.s and who will cherry picked which ones are observed and which are not. my hope is they'll intervene to safeguard the free and open
internet for the use of the world. and also require the repairing of the structure to ensure the trademark rights, states rights, human rights, such as free speech and free exercise of religion, our national security and the security of our friends and allies around the world. . thank you. >> thank you ms. grove. >> my apologies. good morning and thank you all for inviting me to testify. as my testimony notes, i have been elected to the icann board of directors and i will take that seat in november, but i'm here today in my personal capacity and not as a member elect of the board. as head of the office of
international affairs, i led the team that issued the 1998 policy statement known as the white paper. the purpose of that policy was to preserve private sector management of the dns not to create it out, i want to say that again, at the time that i began looking at this, the private sector in the form of the technical community was managing and coordinating the -- without material government funding or oversight. the national science foundation intended to let its $0 mou with network solutions expire and they're no longer funding dns related activities at the university of southern california. both agencies were satisfied with the management plan developed and supported by the technical community. but there was a problem. in 1997 the technical community was no longer fully
representative of the diversity of stake holders, businesses and commercial users in the united states and elsewhere who were also demanding a seat at the table. when it appears that the communities plan would not garner sufficient support from nontechnical segments of the internet community. the commerce department stepped in on a temporary basis. i submit that what he said about what we've always had the right to exclude is actually not correct. as my written testimony makes clear, we acquired our limited and temporary right when network solutions agreed that it would not change the authoritative route without the u.s. government approval and that it would look to a designated alternative after the transition. our goal was to allow private sector management of the dns
that existed at the time to evolve to accommodate the increasing diversity of internet stake holders. now, i am -- have never been shy about criticizing, icann i think many people will testify to that. i can say what started out in 1998 as an experiment to observe private sector leadership meant and to prevent takeover of that function by an intergovernmental body now has the processes, procedures, safeguards and tools to ensure that the dns continues to be coordinated by the private sector, broadly construed and in the public interest. the maturity of the model has been tested and proven resilient. it's time to finish what we started in 1998. first, the transition will not create intensives for it to change its status or move offshore. the white paper affirmatively
anticipated that competition law would serve as a healthy constraint on that and they've operated for 18 years subject to the antitrust laws of the united states and every other jurisdiction in which it does business. it's been sued under antitrust laws and no court has found that it enjoys immunity from those suits. in addition the revised bylaws direct powerful barriers to the corporation in a different jurisdiction or as an international organization. second, the transition need not and should not be delayed pending completion of work stream, too. the form of continuous improvement was built into the design of the accountability group. the task to determine what work needed to be undertaken in advance of the transition turned on analysis of whether the community would have sufficient tools to ensure that work stream out comes could be implemented
and not as some as suggested on whether or not the issue directly involved replacing the u.s. role in the process. human rights, which -- which means freedom of expression is a case in point. an effort by a government or misguided governmental advisory committee that caused them to engage in content regulation would flatly violate the bylaws and be subject to immediate and binding review through the enhanced independent review process. finally, let me just say, a proof of concept period is unnecessary and would be counter productive, the process getting to this point has shown that the community can come together and work on difficult problems and create sound, solutions in an extraordinarily diverse ecosystem. the deliverables have been rigorously studied and
pronounced sound. delay now would raise questions about the united states commitment to a process that it initiated decades ago and serve only the interest of the handful of governments who would like to see this process fail. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member, i'm the ceo, relates to consumer against cyber crime, particularly in the health care space. today i can argue that it is accountable and transparent to take over stewardship of the internet. my testimony argues that it is not. some proponents of the transition would have this believe that it's merely a technical organization. that's false. one of the most important jobs is to accredit domain registrars and make sure they comply with their accreditation agreement. it says registrars are suppose to investigate and respond appropriately when they get a
complaint that a domain name is being used for illegal or pay bu z -- or abusive purposes. if the registrar doesn't, they're suppose to hold the registrar accountable. i'm going to give a couple of examples of why it's a failed system. let me first explain why this is important. first and most obviously, this is a consumer protection issue. the victims of illegal or fraudulent schemes are typically internet users often vulnerable populations. the second reason, however, is that in any sector, the payment processing world, search engine advertising or registrars, you need some sort of system for voluntarily addressing and preventing abusive activity. if that system does not work, is corrupt or not transparent you leave the organization vulnerable to governments looking for an excuse to step in and exercise more control over that failed system under the guides of fixing the problem.
third, it's imperative that voluntary abuse policies only address harmful activity like child pornography, fake drugs or spam, et cetera, and not free speech. that's why, before they become totally independent it's imperative that demonstrate compliance system that is accountable and transparent. unfortunately they fails that test. once systemic problem is compliance is regular dismissal of complaints against registrars who ignore the contractual requirement to investigate and respond appropriately to abuse complaints. in some cases the registrar clearly indicates no matter how compelling the evidence, they won't do anything. not only do they close these compliance, when asked what the registrar did to meet the contractual requirement despite all evidence indicating that it did nothing, they say that it's privileged information between it and the registrar. this is like in reverse.
registrars are first athis warted a secret process after which the reasons for dismissing the complaint are never disclosed. because one of the most important rule -- role social security not transparent, nobody, including the multi stake holder community can possibly hold them accountable in the future. a similar problem is the accreditation of registrars that function as an arm of enterprise, the problem with this giving the ability to register the domain names giving them a press to print their own money. it's a criminal network that sold addicted without a prescription for years causing a number of deaths. this criminal enterprise obtained its own accreditation, the only purpose of which to generate pharmacy domain names. the revenue from the pharmaceutical sales was flipped into the trafficking of meth from north korea, smuggling weapons into africa and diverting u.s. technology
reportedly missile guided systems to iran. although now the accredited for unrelated reasons which critical to understand at that the individual in question could not have funded those activities if the company had not maintained for years accreditation as a registrar from ican despite it being obvious to many that it was a shelf for criminality. the remain others today whose business model depends in material part on providing a safe haven for online crime. this is a problem for internet safety and for the future and independent of the internet. any time you have a failed system for voluntary compliance does not work, criminality and fraud are linked at. you hand governments the perfect excuse to try and exercise more control. voluntary effective and processes are imperative for any industry to remain independent, enabling them to tell governments, we don't need you to step in and fix our problem. we've got this. that is what we should all want
for icann or any other organization entrusted with its functions. but the accreditation compliance systems are a mess. you don't buy your 16-year-old a car if they still back into your garage door every time they leave a house. before improving, the u.s. government has an obligation to u.s. users and to ensure that the operations including its compliance and accreditation functions are accountable and transparent. to date, icann has failed this test. thank you. >> i'm executive director of net choice which is the trading association. i've been involved in icann for over a decade and was a leader that developed over the past two years. this is not an obama
administration plan or proposal. it was developed by the private sector, mostly u.s. and businesses in civil society, using the leverage of this transition to force icann to accept tough new accountability measures. we've heard the sound bites about this transition being an internet give away to an international body like the un. if that were remotely true, i will first american engineers gave away the recipe 30 years ago and that engineers and every country interconnect the network that we have. we don't own the internet any more than the texas government owns the recipe for barbecue brisket. they created in 1998 in order to privatize, the internet is working well, while the dns works well because icann has
coordinated for 18 years and will continue to do so after the transition. there is no new international body. the third, we designed explicit protections against government censorship. many government sensor web content at the edge of the internet when online traffic crosses their borders, neither we or icann can do anything to stop that type of kcensorship. we ensure they cannot extend it. i applied 37 stress test against the new model of which the most famous stress test 18 where we asked what if a majority of governments wanted to advise icann regarding a censorship topic. first, the new bylaws allow one government to veto that kind of advice. if no government vetoed the advice, the icann board could still reject that advice with 60% of its directors if the board caved to governance we have the power, for the first time, to be able to challenge
icann on accepting that advice. and the government gets no say in the community decision about making that challenge. the rolling that's binding and enforceable in court and then for good measure we empower the community to fire the board of directors if that's not good enough. delaying this transition, mr. chairman, creates far more risks than benefits. in this hearing today we've heard some creative reasons to block or delay and i welcome the chance to address each of them in transitioning. what if we renege on the 18-year transition plan and promise made in 2014 and dismiss the private sector's accountability plan. two consequences, first an indefinite delay rekindles the fire of the un who has long wanted to control. it feeds into the myth that the contract let's the u.s. government somehow control the internet and that is the sound bite that russia and china will use to persuade moderate
governments that the u.n. should step into the shoes. second we stand to lose the new accountability mechanisms that we design. the board said that the new bylaws take effect at transition then they commit it to say that they will try to keep what we could if transition were deferred. that means we need to strip out of the new bylaws, all of the accountability features that it assumed the transition will occur. that's a total loss for the private sector who want the power to fire if it fails at serving names, protocols of customers. rescuing the names, relitigating matters that were approved only as compromised package. many governments and the board resisted other parts of it as well. those compromises may be i irretrievab irretrievable. they'll try to improve on their previous compromise when the bylaws reopen. i know those of you have seen
similar compromises come undone. there's a very real risk that we won't rescue the strong accountability powers we need. so please weigh those down side risks against the benefits of transition. these new bylaws give the private sector, true accountability power over icann the same way corporations are accountable to the shareholders, the same are accountable to my members and senators are accountable to the voters. that accountability is strong -- u.s. of ntia. in closing we have to now decide which road to take on this transition. we deliver or we delay. as yogi bear said when you come to a fork in the road, take it. that is take the new model of icann accountability and preserve the open internet. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> senator cruz, senator, thank you very much for inviting me to appear today before the
committee to discuss the stewardship transition and thank you, particularly, for your fortitude in such a lengthy panel and such a long hearing it demonstrates your commitment to hearing something about the issue. for two years i've worked on -- within icann on the proposed transition. alongside many of my copanelists, unlike them, i think the effort for which i have the greatest admiration has produced a proposal that is not yet complete and is in many ways too flawed. in the written testimony i spoke to five specific issues which i thought were important to discuss, at the risk of going off script a bit, i want to directly address a question you had asked earlier today, senator, which is whether or not there is a need for a testing period, which is something that i have advocated. in response to that, strickland
told you there was no need because the technical aspects of this transition had been tested for 90 days and worked perfectly. that's absolutely true. but it's incomplete. the reason is that those technical transitions had been tied as all the copanelists hear have said, to preform of the accountability provisions that address how icann manages its policy. it is true that it's such a technical decision there's a host of policy that hides behind that is operated. we address sintellectual propery claims. it includes such things as whether or not dot amazon, top domains will be delegated and to whom. those are controversies without saying whether or not you
resolved you can see they are issues that trench not upon technical question but upon real issues of policy and governance that effect the globe all the way around. it is those accountability measures that haven't been test driven yet. before the transition was announced. the accountability of icann such as it was depended upon essentially the u.s. government's exercise of soft power. the persuasion behind the scenes, if you will so it wasn't an explicit control and secretary strickland is right about that, but nonetheless, it was implicit in many ways. that's what's going away. that sortth soft power control and what is coming in instead set of accountability measure that is will lead to empowered community that has the ability to, essentially, that has been tested in suggesting that the need for testing arises.
i'm not flying alone out there. that's what the i can board suggested earlier when the community suggested the sole membership model. they said that if that was the model to be presented and the path forward, it may be prudent to delay the transition and icann has demonstrated experience operating the model and ensuring the model works in a stable manner. it said that was necessary because the new model would upset the balance of power and influence amongst any of the groups within icann which can change based upon the willingness and ability to participate everything the board said is true as well. indeed, i will submit, and this is my opinion, but i would submit that the power community model is more complex and less well grounded in the simplicity of california nonprofit law and
the empowered community line. and so when i suggest that there's a need for a test drive. it is not of the technical system whether or not empower community works and it will not and indeed it is unlikely to last much longer than the time it works since many of those proposals will result in new provisions that would have to go through the new empowered community system. we'll have a chance to see it work. i like i favor this transition, i think it is essential. indeed i think it's essential for many of the reason that is you address for terry earlier. i just don't think that we know whether or not this one will work yet. as it's drafted now, the accountability side of this is a leap in the dark. it's a triumph of hope of experience, if you will, it
isn't yet finalized in a way that gives me the confidence to be short. has gone through a number of stress test. those are immensely useful, sbe lekia -- intellectual hypothesis. a trial period to allow it to operate under the new model completely for whatever period of time is necessary to demonstrate the utility and then completion, an irrevocable completion if the system proves itself capable. to you and it has thus far. thank you very much for that. allowing me to testify today. >> thank you very much. >> let me start by just making
an observation for those government employees who are concerned about whether the conduct they're being asked to carry out is consistent with federal law. mr. strickland pointed a language in the committee report that he said gave them the authorization to do so. as i noted in that questioning and committee report cannot supersede language passed into law. when mr. strickland did not tell you that committee report was a committee report for legislation that, itself, did not pass into law. whatever authority committee report might have for legislation that is actually passed congress and signed into law. a committee report that legislation for legislation that did not pass congresser roi --
intention of the entire united states congress. i will note that it is more than a little ironic, which has a direct working relationship with icann and the united states department of congress would seek to stifle individual speech in this way, which just so happens to be the main focus of today's hearing. this letter, unfortunately, perhaps, provides a glimpse into how ver i sign and icann can expect to conduct themselves, given the allegations against you, would you like to offer any rebuttal or response to the letter? >> we did issue a brief comment. i will say first, i've been in the think tank world going on nine years. it was not simply correction and we did note there were confusing word choices in our paper and we're happy to correct those.
it was a threat, as you say. the issue that we were getting at was simply to illustrate. we tend to agree that icann is probably not immuned from antitrust suit and the transition probably won't change that, our point really was to say, there are still unanswered questions about antitrust law. and the purpose of the paragraph that veri sign subjected to what such suits might look like and suggest that it's inherently tied up in controversy auctions in which it's lots of money at state and it has a direct financial interest. we were explaining that it would be unreasonable to expect the plfrs will not bring this kind of suit and antitrust litigation, whether frivolous or meritorious will be used to attack icann and discredit it by those who prefer to push to the i.t. model. >> would you say that threatening witnesses before
senate oversight hearing is consistent with an entity that we are being told we should trust to respect and protect free speech? >> no, sir, although i would just remind everyone this was veri sign and not icann. i'm not accusing anybody of anything. we were simply trying to explain that there are many unanswered questions. the administration says it has zero correspondence about antitrust issues, yet, you heard secretary strickland today say that there was, indeed, some consideration, that didn't turn up in the request that americans for limited government issues. the point of our paper there are many unanswered questions that would have been resolved in a better comment when they had taken public comment and issued full report the way the agencies are suppose to do instead of rubber stamping what icann proposed. >> today, if icann tried to implement a policy, threat and
internet freedom. could the united states simply refuse to renew its contract. >> well, yes, sir. and that is ultimately -- when i say that i support a partial transition, that's what i'm getting at. i'm distinguishing between the right, that's a personal transition, that is different from what you ask about, which is the ability to put the contract out for rebid, that is something ntia has threatened to do in the past. it nearly did so in 2012 and it has used that, as paul said, a soft leverage to discipline icann. that ultimately is the guarantor of this whole system. i just think we should be very careful before removing that bit of leverage, that decision is ir reversible one contrary to mr. strictly told you about nonviolating. >> that's a check that goes away as the transition proceeds. >> yes, senator.
>> following up on that point, in your written testimony, you said, icann exercises these powers as a global monopoly, by virtue of the powers who can sell domain names on line set out in the accreditation contract, they have a significant effect on the future of the internet and seeking additional powers that will further limit the openness of the internet, a working group hand selected by icann's then ceo propose a shift to put all of the world's information about who has registered domain name behind a single gated wall and give icann or its contractor sole power to authorize who is to see that reason and to audit and post penalties on kper net data that icann considers improper? >> that's correct, mr. chairman.
no now. >> now, we're told that in place of the government oversight, we should trust the international stake holders. i would note in your written testimony, secretary strickland said we should feel comfort that the government advisory council requires yuan minty. your testimony said voiced dissatisfaction with the president consensus rule for gaap decision so its impossible could change the method of improving device such that a majority could prevail over significant minority of governance, is that correct. >> yes, it is that's precisely what's stress test 18 asked. i was the first one to raise this by saying the government advisory committee could change its decision making method. but the bylaws were written in a
way they will have to give deference to that advice. we have changed the bylaws, mr. chairman, such that the governess can use any rule, but the only method of decision that our board at icann has to give deference and respect to is decisions reached through unit minty and the government resisted for two years they did not want to have to lock themselves in situation where the u.s. government could with one vote veto with a handful or majority of other governments want to do. those are the kind of fixes that we did specifically in response to that stress test. >> but, the bylaws could still change? >> the discussion of whether and how the bylaws change is true of any organization that lays down bylaws and corporation, any articles, always include a clause that say these can be changed with the majority. but we have gone far beyond the typical assurances of a ceo,
former or current. we change the bylaws. it says it shall be, in california. and if the icann tries to change those bylaws, it requires the approval of the community. the community can block that, the articles of incorporation indicate it has to be a california corporation. if they tried to change that, it would require the consent of the entire community before they could make that change. we have built in as many that we've can to guarantee they'll be subject to u.s. law and situated in california. >> you are correct most if not all have the ability to change. that's one of the reasons why we're not typically in the practice of handing over monopolies over vital infrastructure to private organization because that is too much unchecked power to trust, particularly a private organization, icann is not bound by the first amendment. one of the great services that
the united states of america provides to the world is following first amendment principles to prevent censorship, the alternative and i want to turn to you on this, your written testimony said, it is my view that it is indisputable that under the current proposal, governments, foreign governments, would significantly increase their power in icann versus the status quo. they have the ability to convey advice to the board and the board must implement unless opposed by majority vote. would you elaborate on that mr. rosenzweig? >> yes. before the transition occurred, they were capable of providing advice to the board, that the board was bound by its procedures to seek to negotiate with them, if you disagree with
that. under the internal operation procedures at the time, that advice would have to have been by consensus and the board would have had to have -- would have been capable of rejecting that advice simply by a a% pl50% plu vote of the board. in practice they tended to seek a super majority, but the statutory -- the board statutory majority was simply 50% plus one. the -- with respect to that advice, made two changes, one that enhanced the power by increasing the threshold for which it would be rejected and the other by institutionalizing the consensus requirement, still maintaining the status quo. in effect from where we were before to where we are now. the threshold for rejection has gone up. in addition, and to my mind much significantly, they've been
invited to participate as a voting member in the empowered community. that empowered community will have, as mr. strikling and all the others have said, significant oversight of the board. indeed that is the methodology by which we anticipate the multi stake holder model and for controlling icann board and staff activity. as of right now, they've not determined whether or not to seek that position. but in the event it does, it may very well seek to do so by majority vote, not by consensus vote. it's internal operating procedures, would suggest consensus for that as well. they'll subject to majority rule change. so we have gone to a place in which the board, by 50%, plus one could reject the advice and they had no formal say in oversight of the board to position in which there's a
higher threshold and it's been invited to sit as a voting member. i suggested two years ago that one of the key tests for the suitability of this, is that remains in a purely advisory role. the transition changes that. it remains to be seen, whether or not that will have significant effects or only partial effects, again, a reason why i suggest at least a trial period is necessary. >> and i want to make sure that it is absolutely clear to this committee and to the american people, your testimony is that if the obama administration's proposed transition goes forward, that it is indisputable overregimes hostile to free speech on the internet. >> i think the other government that loses pow ner this
transition, is the united states government. all the others gain power. >> and why, possibly, would it be in the interest of the united states to put forward a proposal that weakens the authority of the united states and that strengthens the authority of russia and china and iran? >> i'm not in a position to answer that question on behalf of the united states government, sir. >> well, hopefully the united states congress is in a position to answer that. one answer that we have been given by some witnesses is that we should rest comfort that icann once held accountable. once lacking any supervision. can be comfortable will remain domicile. i've been reading your testimony you wrote tf idea that pack up
and move has been contemplate d td -- discussed earlier in this hearing of discussing a parallel, legal, international structure, maybe in switzerland for icann and the senator's exchange with mr. strikly, it was suggested that perhaps that referred to something completely separate, independent and nonicann itself. and, yet, your written testimony suggest that interpretation is incorre incorrect. specifically you said in july the french sent swiss model that will instead of transforming to one country, one vote like the itu have icann assume international legal personality as "world icann on the model of
the red cross; is that correct? >> that's my understanding of the french senate report which i understand to be in reaction to the testimony. i do not know if that translation was accurate, but it certainly is there interpretation of what he was s saying and it is that there is no concrete assurance beyond an exchange of correspondents that.gov and dot mill will remain under control of the united states government. right now for consumers, that is an essential consumer protection, if you go to senate.gov to see if that official government records, you have some degree of confidence that that is not an illegal
scammer, if you go to irs.gov, you have some degree of confidence that this is not a phishing scam identity theft. under this transition, there's no assurance dot-gov and dot-mil will remain with the united states government s that right? >> there is no assurance beyond the letters exchanged which as i understand are not enforceable contracts. to the extent that you think that letters are themselves an assurance, then they stand in that stead. but i am puzzled by the argument that entering into a contract about these somehow derogation of sovereignty. i have not heard that until assistant secretary said that earlier today and so i haven't had the chance to think about that. but the government enters into contracts about its intellectual
property and other property all the time. so i want to see that analysis and think about that some more. i don't have that piece of answer for you. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this has been an interesting engaging and long hearing. i want to thank you for being engaged about property and governance and control. and i will try my best in a few minutes to get to what i think are some core issues that still very much deserving of our time. and first, i must compliment you in using the word recoco in your testimony. we both agree that it is just all too rare that we have a naerg which that term is casually dropped into conversation. >> thank you. >> and perhaps it's a good sort of word to summarize the entire
underlying challenge here which is it that the construct, the very thing about which we're talking is very complicated. it has an architecture that is literally recoco in nature. and getting what, what is at stake and what is not at stake and what is in transition and not is challenging. and that's exactly why misleadi misleading or overheated red rick about what under way, avoiding that is really important. seeking control where none exists only results in the loss of influence. and it is exactly this sort of basic assumption that the transition is handing over a mondopol monopoly. a lever that allows complete control over the internet is exactly that, i think,
misunderstanding. that is at the core of the different trajectory of the questioning that the chairman and i pursued today. so first if i might, what is the risk of a fractured internet? are we handing over the keys to the kingdom and handing over the internet to regimes hostile to free speech or demonstrating good will and reducing the threat that there will be a parallel competitive structure for the dns and that that will tleed a future fracturing of the internet? >> i agree with you that it is the latter. the question is whether or not we'll keep to our own commitmentes to a governance
structu structure. the entire system we're discussing is in fact voluntary. so what we have in this instance sin fluns,en that influence is born of integrity and good behavior and keeping promises that we make. ambassador gross did an mazing job for the bush administration in pushing back on authoritarian regimes that were trying to get some momentum about bringing icann functions to an intergovernmental body. and did he so by reaffirming america's commitment to the multistake holder model and to an open internet. so you disempower people like ambassador gross whether you turn around and say just kidding, we actually think it's important that we keep control over this even though that control is ilucary wlachlt is the problem?
what is the down side consequence to a delay? i think that dhsh is all symbolism. and so the symbolic gesture of saying government needs to be involved. it needs to be us. we don't it this multistake holder community is capable of governing the internet. i think saying that has dire consequences. >> and let me make sure i asked an important question here. articulating great detail very unsatisfactory experience with an auction process. someone that worked for a private kplp that lived and died by the trade marks and also involved in very unsatisfactory action to secure our trade mark website, that sound like a really bad experience. i just want to make sure that i understand. you said something that surprised me. i perhaps hadn't read fully enough your testimony in advance. that changes in accountability, several of you have testified you've been critics of icann for
a long time and yet are very actively engaged in this process. the changes in accountability and transparency and process improvement that's have been agreed to are conditioned upon transition, is that correct? >> they are. the board put them in place but said they take infect upon the date of transition. now they committed that if the transition were delayed that they would work with the community to figure out what parts of those new by laws could still survive. remember, the changes we made over 215 pages assume that now the community can fire icann if they don't run the protocol names and services correctly. we would lose that capability if we never turn it over. then we would relitigate all of the powers that are essential to ensure we have decreased the power of governments in icann, not increased it. >> so let's stress test the proposition. we have both ends of the table that say the transition in
general is a good idea. we should privatise fully. but it's not ready yet. and there is too risky. interest tl are some demonstrated instances where ican has not performed to the level that we hoped. mr. horton raises a variety of areas where one can debate whether it really is or isn't icann's function to police the actions of registrars. certainly there are examples where their actions have not held up to the highest standards we would hope. in your view, do the risk of delay in this transition outweigh the risks of a staged transition where it is sort of temporarily given or the transition is done in a series of stages? >> yeah, the entire premise for a test drive or test period is completely mistaken. it assumes the new mechanisms that we designed would have any reasonable probability of actually being tested in two months or two years. remember, these are
extraordinary powers to spill the board, block the buy laws change and budget. it could be years, many years before those rever invoked. so the notion that all those mechanisms have to be tested would never provide an assurance that trance woigs ever occur. it's as if the u.s. constitution had lots of powers in there like articles of impeachment but england you this never let go of america until a test period occurred where all of the powers could be tested to their full degree. the internet is about a leech faith. the private sector community can challenge what icannz i would visit miss grove and mr. horton to engage within icann why we change the rules for new level of top level dough mains. ask misgrove what disquauction criteria would we have so an applicant with the hist like the one you claim you're competing
with would not be allowed to compete. and help us design ways to force icann's kblicompliance to investigate and respond. they have no power to do anything whatsoever to help miss grove or mr. horton. only the community can. and only with the new bilaws. the community could never have the capability to force icann into a tighter level of compliance. >> you're going to take a seat on the icann board. is he correct? >> he is. and i would like to just add on to his point about the test drive that the purpose of these powers is to encourage, one of them, is to pro actively encourage good behavior. nobody wants to spill the entire board of directors. what we want is to make sure that policy development processes are respected that icann implements those properly
and the like. so i agree with that. i think that as i move on to the icann board, to me, the huge challenge is that icann board has to embrace this. and they have to create a culture in icann that embraces these changes. i think that the process of unpacking the current accountability provisions in the bilaws would take years and be very disruptive to the community. the other thing is steve talks a lot about the powers. i want to talk about the creation of the independent judiciary at icann which we now have for the first time. that fundamental level of government has been missing at some level. we know that irps are affected. now they're going to be much more accessible. they are going to be binding and
they're going to test icann against a very clearly limited and enumerated mission statement and a set of commit mentes and core values that form the compact between icann and the community. i think that sets up a new atmosphere that will hopefully change. >> i just want to thank the entire panel for their testimony on this very kblikt complicated important subject. it seems to me from what i heard that it's important to grasp that icann and the current dns structure not the only way for the architecture of the internet to be managed and governed going forward and the risk we face of indefinitely delaying this transition or failing to keep america's word expressed over several administrations and several actions of congress that the risks outweigh the risks of the new structures succeeding.
and on some level what we are being asked to do in this transition to trust that the american private sector has actually done a terrific job of improving some of the flaws and failures and challenges. thank you for your service. >> thank you. ms. grove and mr. horton. they made reference to your testimony. would either of you care to respond to what he suggested? >> thank you so much, senator cruz. our experience as a bad experience and i understand how it can be chalked up to that. it is deeper than. that there was a story that prevented icann from being able to give our name to the other applicant because they had a number of uniformed dispute
resolution policy decisions against it already. that should have prevented it right there. icann didn't find the own guide book and there was no one accountable to help them to to do that. they decided to take a hands off approach it to. so even though it is complicated, even though people spent a the love time working on it and we do have a person that's involved in a multistake holder group on our behalf, you don't have to spend thousands of hours doing that or be an $800 an hour icann attorney to see sfru to bring the whole world of multistake holders together to hold icann to follow its own rules, it's going to be very challenging to hold them accountable at all. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to respond to. that as to the suggestion that i spent time getting involved in the icann process, i already
lost countless hours of my life doing that talking about compliance and other issues. the problem is that icann does not follow what is already written and already been developed by the multistake holder community in the registrar accreditation agreement. and as to why that happens, the sprob a fundamental one of transparency. when you try to get to the core of the problem, it's like a secret court. now part of the problem here is that multistake holder community is -- the fact that it's sop a good thing. but anybody can be involved in what is a very complicated process and it's hard for a lot of entities that had a stake in the future of the internet to be involved in these complicated and very bureaucratic groups without det dedicating a full time employee or employees to these processes. some of most motivated sectors are the registrar and the registry sectors which have a lot of power in the multistake holder community and do not want
compliance to exercise the functions that are clearly written in the registrar accreditation agreement. so that is part of the problem. >> thank you, mr. horton. i want to thank each of the witnesses on the panel. you know, i will say we heard a lot of interesting expert testimony. i thank you for the time you put into writing your testimony, to coming here and answering these questions. in my judgement the most powerful and most troubling testimony we heard today was that it was indisputable that this administration's transition if it went forward would increase the power of foreign governments including russia and china and iran. and decrease the power of the united states of america. i'm reminded of the 1970s when president jimmy carter chose to give away the panama canal.
and likewise today, the internet is working. and this is a solution in search of a problem. it is my hope that he exercise the article one authority and protect free speech. keep the internet free of the coercive authority of foreign government that's would love nothing more than to silence and censor free cheech. i want to thank each of the witnesses again for coming to testify and we'll keep the hearing record open for an additional five business days. it will be closed at the end of the business day on wednesday, september 21, 2016. this hearing is adjourned.
its heads of the army, navy, marines and air force testify tomorrow about the long term budget needs. the hearing taking place as negotiations continue on capitol hill over military readiness under budget caps. live coverage of the senate arms services committee hearing at 9. 306789 a.m. eastern on c-span3. the house is set to take up a resolution calling for the impeachment of irs commissioner john coskanin. the white house is weighing in saying the bill shows misplaced priorities. we spoke to a capitol hill reporter for more details.
mike debonis covers congress for "the washington post." here to talk about the irs commissioner impeachment resolution set for floor debate. who and what are behind this effort, mike debonis? >> sure, the resolution that is coming up was filed by two house republicans. john fleming and tim huelskamp, members of the freedom house caucus. they have been frustrated by the -- not only the allegations against the internal revenue service but by the failure of the -- what they allege, the failure of the current commissioner to comply with congressional subpoenas, provide testimony to congressional committees and otherwise restore trust in the agency. and they have also been frustrated by the fact that the chairman of the relevant committees, particularly
judiciary committee chairman bob goodlatte hasn't moved forward with a formal impeachment proceeding. they've filed this privileged resolution that short circuits that process and brings it directly to the floor. >> one of your current articles on "washington post".com has the headline impeachment showdown begins as house conservatives take aim at irs commissioner. is it possible this is a showdown not only with the administration but with house republican leadership? >> that's absolutely the case. i don't think this is a fight that speaker ryan or other members of the house republican leadership are particularly relishing at this point. i think that certainly there are conservatives who are very upset with the irs and not only the way that they handled their scrutiny of conservative political groups but also the way that they handled congressional inquiries into it. but i think that there is somewhat widespread -- i would say skepticism over whether
impeachment is the right remedy to what's gone on. no one has been particularly vocal about saying that this is a bad idea, but you have heard speaker ryan, the majority leader kevin mccarthy both say they wanted this process to regular order, which is code word for saying the relevant committee should take action rather than short-circuiting that process and taking it to the floor. >> they're getting together for a special meeting. what do you expect to happen? >> a classic house republican family conversation as they like to put it. they get together behind closed doors and mr. fleming and mr. huelskamp are going to be able to make their case for doing this. and i would expect that, you know, we would hear from probably chairman goodlatte, probably from other folks,
speaker ryan is expected to be in the room. and they are going to sort of make their cases to -- in terms of what is the best way forward on this. and we'll see later in the day how exactly that shakes out. >> the irs commissioner john koskinen has made a couple of visits to capitol hill meeting with members. what has he been saying in his defense? >> he has actually gone and spoken to some of his most pointed critics. he went into the republican study committee meeting. and basically his message has been this. even if you think i've done terrible things and deserve to lose my job, you should follow the usual impeachment process, and you should not be engaging in the short-circuiting of the process. you should, you know, the judiciary committee should have full-on impeachment hearings. i should be given an opportunity
to formally present a defense. i should be granted due process, and then it should be up to the judiciary committee to vote articles of impeachment and send them to the floor and if the house sees fit, send those to the senate for a trial. that's not the process we're in right now. >> is the only option here an impeachment for john koskinen? are there other methods of discipline that congress can mete out? >> y there's been some discussion of a censure. in fact, the oversight and government reform committee passed a censure resolution through the committee earlier this week. it has not gone to the floor. that is an option if that's what leadership feels that the conference is coalescing behind. but there are other options as well. i mean, to discuss the vote we're going to have tomorrow, you know, there are a number of ways that could be, you know, disposed of short of voting it down or voting it up. you know, it could be perhaps even likely will be a motion to send it back to the judiciary
committee. in other words, say, hey, we are going to follow the regular process here. and the committee determines that impeachment is warranted, we'll continue. there could also be a motion to table, which would basically kill this effort entirely. >> this impeachment issue, another ingredient in that bubbling issue of issues to get done before september 30th, what can you tell us in terms of an update on where we are on some sort of government funding measure to take us past september 30th. >> not a lot seems to have changed outwardly in the last 24 hours or so. harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate told reporters there were still multiple issues to be resolved.
one of the, shall we say, the hairiest issues is whether funds in the zika package are going to go to an affiliate of planned parenthood in puerto rico. apparently there is no resolution there, but if past is prologue, a quick resolution if, at least in the senate, if these negotiators find some common ground. the senate tomorrow is going to clear the water resources development bill, and leader mcconnell has made every indication he wants to go quickly to the cr, the funding package after that. >> mike debonis covering congress for "the washington post." read his reporting at washingtonpost.com. on twitter @mikedebonis. the house will not vote to impeach him on friday after gop negotiators reached a deal to postpone the vote. the impeachment effort which is backed by congressman jim jordan's group put out a tweet.
they reach an agreement with house leelders to hold impeachment hearing next wednesday. the shouse back in at 9. 306789 a.m. eastern live on c-span. >> adams was not a good president. he was not a successful president. and if his career had ended at the end of his presidency, as his father's career ended at the end of his presidency, i don't think i would have written a book about him. >> sunday night on q&a, a columnist talks about his big "john quincy adams, militant spirit." >> the thing that strikes you. he's a politician. he's held elective office. he's done whatever you do to win. he didn't form alliances. he didn't do anything that you would do in order to be able to persuade people who otherwise might not go along with your agenda to do so. and so his four years in the white house were just pain. just pain.
everything was hard. he achieved almost nothing. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. now louisiana's secretary of state testify on efforts to prevent moting machines from being hacked. this house committee hearing is two hours and 15 minutes. welcome to today's hearing entitled protecting the 2016 elections from cyber and voegt machine attacks.
we're here today to discuss the subject of election security. it's hard to imagine a more bipartisan issue. election security is fundamental to the fairness of elections and democracy in the united states. elections are a key component of democracy and voting is the very essence of what president abraham lincoln meant when he said a government by the people. when our citizens vote, they choose a direction and set priorities for our nation. elections with integrity strengthen democracy. they confirm legitimacy and boost public trust in government. concerns with earlier versions of voting and election systems led to the passage of the 2002 help america vote act. this act requires the national
institute of standards and technology over which we have jurisdiction to work with the elections assistance commission on technical, voluntary guidelines for voting. today we'll discuss the current technical voluntary guidelines in place that -- in place for states to protect their voting and election systems. though these guidelines are voluntary, i hope to hear whether they are sufficient to safeguard our elections and whether states infeeffectively them. this discussion is timely as concerns are raised in recent months about the vulnerabilities of electronic voting machines, voting over the internet, and online voter registration. in response to the concerns, our discussion today will review the security of the election system in its entirety. we will examine what guidelines are in place, how we currently protect systems from potential technical vulnerabilities and what kind of work including research and development in my
home state of texas is under way to protect future voting and election systems. last year hackers stole personal information on more than 22 million current and former federal employees including those involved in our national security effort with the highest security clearances. the tacks voenter registration data bases in illinois and arizona are the latest instances of such attacks this time with alleged ties to russia. we have yet to take decisive steps to defend ourselves and deter attackers. the president says we're more tech tech know logically advanced than our adversaries. so why won't he take the necessary steps to prevent cyber tacks on our election systems by foreign governments?
this committee held half a dozen hearings on cybersecurity issues in this congress. we know it isn't enough to respond to cyber attacks with diplomatic protest. we're going to hear from witnesses today about how the federal government can help states keep our election systems secure. this administration and next administration has to take decisive steps to deter and sanction foreign governments in cyberspace. that concludes my opening statement and the ranking member of the gentle woman from texas is recognized for hers.
>> good morning. ensuring that our elections are fair and accurate is fundamental to our democracy. every instance of malfunctioning voting technology and without question every cyber attack by election system is significant. and all efforts to improve voting security reliability, privacy and access are welcomed and important. i am confident about the testimony of today's experts and many others that we are in a much better place today than we were ten or 15 years ago. the u.s. election system is
riddled with fraud and somehow rigged. they're not support bid actual facts and they threaten the election process we have relied upon for more than two centuries. i'm eager to hear from the distinguished panel today about the challenges of securing our election system in the digital age. and what actions have been taken at the federal, state, and local levels to strengthen cybersecurity. however, given the reckless rhetoric as well as other serious threats, our election system is facing, i want to take this opportunity to put the cybersecurity challenges in context.
further, there are few connections between individual voting systems and the ient it in. 75% of the voters will be able to var vie their swroet a paper ballot this fall. this compartmentalization and paper trail provides a strong fire wall against any cyber threats. the recently publicized attacks against voter registration roles in arizona and illinois are serious but have not resulted in any changes to voter data or to any voters. what i find most concerning is that they may be linked to the russian intelligence operation. so we must be vigilant. and i hope these incidents will lead to improve cybersecurity protocols and practices.
while security of the election system is important, voter access is funneled. al to our democracy. baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud have been used as an excuse to december enfranchise young voters through zprim in a torre voter id restrictions. news 21. a journalism program established by the carnegie corporation of new york and the js. and james l. knight foundation found voter impersonation fraud to be extraordinarily rare. and analysis of 2016 alleged electi election fraud cases in all 50 states from 2000 to 2012, out of 146 million registered voters identified only ten cases of voter impersonation fraud. you don't enact laws because 10 cases of fraud of 12 years unless you have anal tearer
motive. fortunate lishgs the courts have been right through the most blatantly discriminatory state laws. in addition to the state sanctioned voter id laws, the center for justice and others have continued to document cases of voter intimidation, deliberate spreading of m misinformation to keep minorities and students from voting. and other attempts to target and disenfranchise minority and young voters. these threats to tens of hundreds of thousands of eld jibl voters whether orchestrated by public officials or lone trouble-makers should be taken as seriously as a cyber threat. mr. chairman, i know my remarks have moved beyond the intended scope of this hearing. but you know how well how passionate i am about this issue. it is my hope that with this hearing we can have a thoughtful discussion of the challenges and
actions that have been taken related to cybersecurity and other voting technology issues while avoiding adding to the noise and confusion surrounding these issues just eight weeks from the crucial election. >> i yield back. >> our first witness is dr. charles romine, director of the information technology laboratory at the national institute of standards and technology n this capacity, he oversees a research program that develops and disseminates standards for inoperable, security, reliability of information systems which include cybersecurity standards and guidelines for federal agency and u.s. industry.
he previously serve as a senior policy analysis at the science of technology policy and a program manager at the department of energies advanced scientific computing research office. he received both his bachelors degree in mathematics and philadelphiaed in applied mathematics from the university of virginia. i'll now recognize the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham to introduce our next witness who happens to also be from louisiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is my pleasure to recognize honorable tom shedler, the secretary of state from the great state of louisiana. he was appointed to the position in 2010 and was relekted in 2011. he was on the task force for emergency preparedness for
elections. as secretary of state of louisiana, he is commit froed tekting and defending the intel rit of every election in the state and worked diligently to streamline the election process. the results have been a more efficient and cost effective system with louisiana becoming one of the first states to implement online voter registration and the first state in the country to launch a smart phone app for voters to use to get timely election information. my pleasure for you to be here. i yield back. >> thank you. thank you, mr. abraham. our third witness today is mr. david becker, executive director and co-founder of the center for election innovation and research. mr. becker founded ceir to increase voter turnout and give election officials the tools they need tone sure all eligible voters can vote in a system with maximum integrity. prior to finding cier, he was director of the program at the
poo charitable trust where he worked on election administration. the reforms included using technology to provide voters with information they need to cast a ballot. mr. becker received both his undergraduate and law degrees from university of california at berkeley. our final witness today from my home state of texas is dr. dan wall 5: wallach, rice scholar at the baker institute for public policy at rice university. dr. wallach's research covers a variety of topics in computer security. this includes electronic voting system security where he served as the director of a ntf funded research center, a center for correct usable reliable auditable and transparent elections. he also served as a member of the air force science advisory board from 2011 to 2015. dr. wall allach earned the
bachelors degree in nrl engineers and computer sciences at uc berkeley and masters and phd from princeton university. we welcome you all. we appreciate your expert advice. if you will begin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman smith, ranking member johnson and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss our role in voting systems. improving voting systems requires an interdisciplinary collaborative approach. they mao be accurate and reliable, cost effective, secure and usable and accessible to all voters. the design and stad ardz must consider the diversity of voting processes and balance across the states. and none of these can be considered in a vacuum. the expertise in testing, certification, information security, trusted networks, software quality and usability and accessibility provides the foundation for our voting systems work but our experience working in multistake holder processes it s. critical.
we must bring together election officials, industry, technical experts, and advocacy groups to address this challenge. the role is limited to the research to develop standards, tests, guidelines, best pract e practices and assistance with laboratory accreditation that the election assistance commission and state and local jurisdictions may use at their discretion. since the signing of the help vote america act, we part nerd with the eac to develop the science, tools, staenld ardz necessary to improve the accuracy, reliability, usability and accessibility and security of voting systems. our joint accomplish mentes include new voting system guidelines, guidelines in support of military and overseas voters empower ment mark and the citizens ab seven tee voting. the establish. of a testing laboratory for voting equipment and testing and
certification program upon when r which many states depend. the technical guidelines development committee, a federal advisory committee to the eac charrod by nist assists in the development of the voluntary voting system guidelines. in 2015, the eac approved the tgdc's latest recommendations, voluntary voting system guidance or vvsg 1.1 with new requirements for human factors, audit and election logging and new security requirements on access control, physical security, auditing, software quality, and software integrity. to support overseas and military voters including the use of internet to cast absentee ballots this research concluded that deployed technologies and procedures o could mitigate manufacture the risks socialed with blank ballot delivery. but ballots over the internet
were more serious. based on that research, we documented best practices and considerations for election officials on the use of electronic mail to expedite transmission of voter registration materials and blank ballots. in early 2011, they analyzed current and merging technology that's may mitigate risk to internet voting. we also identified several areas where research and technological improvements are needed to ensure the security, usability and accessibility of internet voting. many of these challenges are not unique to internet voting such as strong identity management, protection against malware and resiliency of internet connected systems. the unique challenges of internet voting are the requirements and expectations notably ensuring the integrity of the voting process while protecting privacy. the eac recently organized public working groups that provide an open and transparent develop ment process and give
the eac and state election officials the opportunity to work directly with academic industry and federal government experts. the working groups help inform nist, the eac and tdgc. there are three election working groups, preelection, election, and post election that are providing insight on election processes. these groups are supported by four technical groups, cybersecurity, human factors, interoperability and testing. the election working groups take input from the technical groups to inform requirements develop ment for consideration by the tdgc. ensuring that voting systems are security and auditable is critical to providing trust and confidence in the vote prague ses. the cybersecurity technical group is developing guidelines and best practices to secure voting systems. the group is focused on election security best practices including physical security, auditing, and contingency planning. to provide a firm foundation for
next generation guidelines, they're researching threats and vulnerabilities to voting systems and best practices and technology that's can mitigate those risks. as part of that research, they cataloged published vulnerabilities and weaknesses in voting system software. the zboel to understand the types of vulnerabilities and voting systems by looking at historical evidence and creating a voting specific list of eventualer in anlts and mapping the weaknesses. this work is identified issues that should ab dressed in future security requirements and test methods and by voting system manufacturers. we're committed to continue collaborating with the eac and others to define our role. we leverage our research which is applicable to a wide variety of organizations and used by governments throughout the world. active collaboration is the only way to effectively meet this challenge. thank you for the opportunity to testify today on this working voting systems and i'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.
>> thank you. and secretary skedler? >> thank you. wanlt to thank the committee, chairman smith and ranking member johnson for the invitation to address you to day. i think it's very important for you to hear from actual election officials who actually conduct elections. and our job, at least in my opinion, is to make voting easier, more accessible and to make it tough to cheat. voters are questioning whether their vote will count. ed we are an all high alert. this whole exercise has put every one of the 50 states on working on national security issues with all national agencies in an effort to improve the system we have or to recheck the system we have. states are always evaluating mng plans. i'm dealing with 30 precincts
from the record flood wheg in the baton rouge area on contingency plans on what i'm going to do to move the presirvegts. are we concerned about potential interference into our election prosnes we absolutely are. we have some 10,000 jurisdictions of voting in this country. hundreds and thousands of voting machines and various locations. the complexity of the election system reinforced the election process. if you think about the complexity of that it makes it difficult for them to disrupt a federal election. specifically, while states have developed online registration, some 31 stace at the best practice to improve customer service they also developed different ways to guard against
intrusion. information clkted through our voting registration does not flow directly into our statewide system. instead of voting information is sent from a website to each perish register in the state of louisiana. they have direct access to the data base, not the voter. while it is disruptive to have registration systems hacked like we saw in illinois, voters can still vote. election day would still occur. anyone who discovers an issue has the option of a provisional ballot. and remember, no voter information was added or deleted in arizona or illinois. so far scientistses have succeeded in hacking voting
machines when favorable conditions exist. they do not exist on election day. including plenty of time and unfeathered access. there is no evidence that ballot manipulation has ever occurred in the united states. no state has internet voting. and our voting machines are never connected to the internet n louisiana, aulg machines are secured in state owned warehouses aushlgs maintenance including most up to date software applications as well as programming is performed by vetted secretary of state employees, not outside contractors, additionally before every election louisiana publicly performs and tests seal process in which we demonstrate that each machine is working properly before locked with a tamper proof seal. that testing process is also done at the -- end of each election day to demonstrate that each machine is functioning post election which is required by
roughly 60% of the states. and if necessary, the majority of states can make paper ballots and audits available if recount or review becomes necessary. finally, please keep in mind that timing is critical. elections are no longer one day events and voting is occurring right now as we speak. ballots have been printed, absentee ballots are in the mail and in person voting begins in days. to say this is not a good time for election officials to be discussing this subject instead of real time preparation is an understatement. the train has left the station. doing during a call with jeb johnson in mid august, my colleagues and i were sure there fwhob intent to declare an election estimate as part of th elections. i've been very vocal that no matter when it would occur that, would undercut the constitutional role of states
and local jurisdictions. it would complicate our ability to properly secure elections. there is not enough clear information on what the designation would mean or why it is necessary. states get what we need through existing networks including the united states elections assistance commission and the national institute of standards and technology which already identify the counter testing certification. in most standards needed to reveal science of tampering. there is a role for congress in. this most states purchase the voting machines using federal dollars, back in 2005. but there is bill interest on the hill when it comes to helping replace our aging systems. i suggest you revisit hava and see how an investment and voting technology can benefit our nation in the long yun. in the meantime, we received a sobering wakeup call on cyber attacks. states will continue to take a pro active approach to secure our election systems and i want to assure every american and i
speak for all of my colleagues and secretary of states association that next president will be determined by vote of the people and every vote will count. thank you for allowing me and my comments. >> thank you. mr. becker? >> good morning. thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member johnson for the opportunity to testify today on the important iru of security of our election system. i'm david becker, the executive director of the center for election innovation and research, a nonprofit working in partnership with secretary shedler and improve our elections. my experience goes back two decades as a trial attorney with the voting section of the bush and clinton administrations and i observed dozens of elections nationwide. then serve ford several years as the director of elections program at pugh write oversaw efforts to use technology to improve the suspicious and security of elections. as an initial matter, we should be clear about the election
systems in place and what they each do and what if any relative vulnerabilities might exist. voter registration data bases are a key election system and have been in the news a lot lately. there is a breech of the it illinois data base where personal data from several thousand vote areas pears to have been accessed n arizona, it appears the state detected and attempted hack of the state voter registration data base and prevented access of any private dat yachlt initial investigations suggest no voter data was changed. the voter registration list remained intact with the primary goal of the hack seemingly to be to access personal data for the purposes related to identity theft rather than to manipulate the voter list. while we should be vigilant, to my knowledge every state creates a regular backup of the voter registration lists. most states on daily basis. should anything go wrong with the data bases, the list can be reconstructed prior to the election. there are express concerned about the hack of the national
democratic committee e-mail system that system is completely different than the election systems in place. that was an tack on a centralized e-mail server which bears no analogy to the highly regulated systems in the states. the voting machines include paper ballots or electronic devices on which votes are cast and include vote tabulation equipment. and with regard to the systems, i can say that. no systems are 100% hack proof. elections in this country are secure. perhaps as secure as they've ever been and voters should be confident that their votes will be counted. there are four primary reasons that volters should feel confident. first, our election system is highly decentralized. each state governs the elections independently. and there are many individual election systems, counties and towns totalling 10,000 nationwide. that actually administer those elections. even within many states counties use different systems and dozens of different technologies and within the thousands of election
jurisdictions, there are well over 100,000 election day precincts where ballots are cast and collected. that's just on election day. not taking into account the thousands of early voting sites and mail ballots that will be utilized this november. thus, there isn't a single or concentrated point of entry for a hacker. rather there are thousands of points a hacker has to navigate to manipulate the results of a national election. second, voting machines are kept securely. these machines are subjected to rigorous protocols for chain of custody and testing in every jurisdiction. they're held under lock and key with additional protections in place to ensure that nobody without properly credentials can access the devices. it is exceedingly difficult to gain access to the machines and nearly impossible to gain access to more than one. prior to every election, not just federal elections but every time the equipment is used these machine goes through a series of tests to confirm they're working as intended, recording and tabulating votes accurately.
third, unlike voter registration data bases or e-mail systems, i know of no jurisdiction where voting machines are connected to the internet. this makes it nearly impossible for a remote hacker whether in moscow russia or moscow, idaho, to access the equipment and plant code or otherwise hack the system. without connectivity to have unfeddered physical access and enough time to sabotage one machine to impact the results on one device in one polling place, to manipulate a vote will have a conspiracy of hundreds of thousands and to go undetected. that brings us to the fourth reason. even if hundreds of thousands of conspirators operated undetected on a range of system defeating the testing and chain of protections, it would have know infect on the vast majority of election results because 75% of voters vote on paper ballots on a device that creates a paper record 367892 plus d.c. avs
2014, there is a post election audit requirement that mandates they match the paper record to a digital record and recount the paper ballots. the states that require such an audit include the battle ground states of arizona, colorado, nevada, north carolina, ohio, pennsylvania, virginia, wisconsin and others. even if a grand conspiracy were viable, a post election audit requirement would discover it. there has been a lot of hyperbole surrounding this election. the process in place to ensure the integrity of our system should not be part of the political rhetoric. there are far more working quietly and collaboratively at the federal, state, and local level. an election officials across the political spectrum are working to secure or voting systems and reassure voters this election will accurately reflect voters choices. voters can play a role as well by attending preelection voting machine tests and especially
volunteering to serve as poll workers to see the process firsthand wlchlt it is federal oefdz offering assistance and resources to the states, state and local authorities offering best practices, this cooperation diligence will protect our elections in 2016 and safeguard future elections as well. thank you. i'd be happy to take any questions. >> thank you, mr. becker. doctor? >> chairman smith, ranking member johnson, members of the committee, it's a great honor to speak to you today about our nation's voting systems and the threats they face this november and the steps we might take to mitigate the threats. my name is dan wollach. i've been a professor of computer science at rice university. and my main message is that our election systems face credible cyber threats and it's prudent to adopt contingency plans before november to mitigate these threats. in particular, we've learned that russia may have been behind leaked dnc e-mails for the
xprisive purpose of manipulating our elections. we also learned of attacks on voter registration data bases in arizona and illinois. and that's only the ones we know about. there might be more. we must prepare for the possibility that russia or other sophisticated adversaries will use their cyber skills to attack our elections and they need not attack any county in every date. they can go after battle ground states where a small nudge can have a large impact. the decentralization that we heard about is helpful but it's not sufficient. my number one concern is our voter registration data bases. because they're online. and if an attack kerr damage or destroy the voter registration data bases, they can disenfranchise a significant number of voters leading to long lines and other difficulties. the provisional voting process requires filling out affidavits. it's slow. it takes time. and that wonld work for millions of voters.
paperless electronic voting systems and tabulation systems are also vulnerable. despite not generally being connected to the internet, these systems were unfortunately never efrpg neared with security in mind and expert analysis by myself and others have found unacceptable security issues. our biggest nation state adversaries have the capability to execute attacks against the systems. for example, russia was behind an tack of this kind directed at ukraine's 2014 election where a hacked tabulation system would have reported results favorable to rush yachlt ukrainians were lucky enough to catch this. our options again now and november are largely limited to contingency planning. if wur lue're lucky, we may det attacks before election day but we should prepare now in the same way we make plans for narlg disasters including running drills and exercises and having plans written out and thought through. if, for example, we were to
conclude on election day that our computer systems were unreliable, a contingency plan may to be run the paper ballots and rerun the election the next day. legislation following 2012's hurricane sandy appears for such mitigations. the details vary state to state. between now and november, we should also be aggressive at deploying expert teams to do security audits of relevant networks and systems particularly in battle ground states. if something is hacked, the sooner we know about it, the better. and my understanding is a critical infrastructure designation would allow stace to request assistance from the federal government in this role. we must also plan for the next few years after november's election is complete. roughly one-third, i also heard a quarter, i'm not sure the real number, a third of voters will use aging electronic voting systems with proven insecure designs. some new hybrid voting system designs with electronic user interfaces are being designed by
los angeles county, california, and travis county, that's austin, texas. these are the potential to substantially reduce costs and improve the security of our elections. if we do nothing, keeping our aging systems in service holds our elections at risk. as a quick note, our immediate future should not include internet voting. it is hard enough to protect the online systems that we already have. moving additional voters online increases risks. traditional hand marked paper ballots and the new hybrid systems from los angeles and austin are our best paths forward. as don rumsfeld said, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. we face a similar situation this november with our systems for voter registration, casting and tabulation. none of them are ready to rebuff attacks from our nation state adversaries nor can we replace them in time to make a
difference. we can pursue a number of pragmatic steps such as verifying the integrity of the backups and make contingency plans for how we may respond if and when we do detect election attacks. if we can determine that tampering within an election voting system did take place, we should have plans in place to print paper ballots or otherwise keep the election going. the sooner we can create and agree on the plans, the more resill yenlt our elections will be to foreign tavenlgt even if nothing goes wrong, and all this turned out to be nothing but hot air, we should treat these events as a warning with modest investment we can improve our practices and replace insecure equipment, defeating future attacks like this before they ever get off the ground. thank you. >> thank you. and now recognize myself for questions and dr. wallach, the first one is for you. you raised a lot of interesting issues. i guess my question is where do you think our election systems are the most vulnerable? what are the one or two areas
that we need to guard against? >> i believe my top concern is the voter registration systems because they are generally online. and if it's online, it's accessible from the internet and if it's accessible from the internet, it's accessible from the state adversaries. if you can either selectively or entirely delete people who you would rather not vote, the current provisional voting system cannot scale to support a large number of voters who are filling out affidavits and following that process. my second concern is the vote tabulation systems. generally speaking, these tend to be old computers running old operating systems and some cases windows 2000 where security patches are not even available from the vendor anymore. and that means that there are significant vulnerabilities where attacking a single point could result in an interesting result. >> okay. thank you. by the way, when i hear you all recommend paper ballots, i wince a little bit. those are -- those of us from
texas have sometimes read about what happened in 1950s where a ballot box was stuffed with paper ballots and it changed outcome of a senate race and perhaps elected the next president. i sometimes worry about paper ballots as well. let me address a question to all the panelists here today. we heard about the vulnerabilities. let me ask you to rate on a scale of one to five with five being the most vulnerable, the most at risk, where you think we stand both in this election and let's take the long view, this election and the next election. how vulnerable are we to being hacked not necessarily successfully hacked but how likely is it that there will be attempts to interfere in our election process by foreign countries? this election or the next? again, one to five with five being the greatest risk. >> it's a little hard for me to answer that question because it
involves intent of bad people. i don't have any background to be able to determine the level of intent. >> let's assume then that how likely is it that there would be intentional attempted hacking in the next two elections? >> if you want to -- >> it's not unreasonable to imagine attempts. in fact, as others have testified, there have been a couple of attempts to hack into vote are registration systems currently. i think most cios will tell you at most organizations will tell that you there's a sort of constant current of probing of their it systems. and so with respect to voter registration, i would say the possibility that an attempt could be made is not out of the question. with respect to the voter -- >> maybe i should say likely or unlikely. would you consider that?
easier way to describe it or not? >> it is still difficult for me to answer that question. i would say -- put it in between. i can't say it's likely. but i can't rule it out either. >> okay. thank you. second shedler? [ inaudible ] >> -- registration side of it as evidenced by the two states that have had a problem. one of which i -- if i want to understand the code was giving and the other one was detected immediately. i'd probably give it around a three. on the election day, 1 1/2 or two. >> okay. g thank you. >> mr. becker? >> yeah, i agree. i think -- i think it's not out of the realm of possibility that there will be an attempted hack before the election or sometime, any time as there was with the voter registration dat what ya bases. i think the chance that would be successful is down below 2%. i think vigilence is important. but it appears that primary goal
here is to disrupt confidence in the election rather than actually manipulate election results. >> so likely attempt, unlikely success? >> correct. >> okay. doctor? >> so in the cybersecurity lingo we often have the phrase advanced persistent threat that we use as a way of talking about nation state adversaries who have patients and skills and take the time and might do something years in advance. it's often the case that adversaries are present in very secure and highly protected networks for months before they're detected. so trying to rank the vulnerabilities, i'm going to rank them relative to access. i think our voter registration systems are most accessible so i'm most worried about them. i'm second airily concerned about the tap lags systems and then i'm concerned about the voting systems themselves particularly the paperless electronic ones. it's very hard for remote internet attacker to overwrite printed paper. >> okay, final quick question.
what more should the administration be doing to protect us from foreign countries attempted hacking of our election systems? anybody? >> i think the short answer is providi providing availability teams to do network monitoring and other appropriate tasks to just go looking for it. >> okay.we should be looking more long term to improve the state's machinery of equipment at this time. i do want to make one comment as far as homeland security we already have that through the fbi and homeland security and ask you don't have to be a critical infrastructure to get the service. >> i take